Skip to content
    Drugs & Medications

    Cephalexin

    COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Keflex

    GENERIC NAME(S): Cephalexin

    Find Lowest Prices

    Uses

    This medication is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. This medication is known as a cephalosporin antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.

    This medication will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.

    How to use Cephalexin

    Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually every 6 to 12 hours with or without food.

    If you are using the suspension, shake the bottle well before each dose. Measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.

    The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dose is also based on weight.

    For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.

    Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.

    Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

    Side Effects

    Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or upset stomach may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

    Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

    Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.

    This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have any of the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor right away if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.

    A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

    This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

    In the US -

    Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

    In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

    Precautions

    Before taking cephalexin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to penicillins or other cephalosporins (such as cefpodoxime); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

    Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, stomach/intestinal disease (such as colitis).

    The liquid form of this product may contain sugar. Caution is advised if you have diabetes. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.

    Cephalexin may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) to not work as well. Do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication unless your doctor tells you to.

    Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

    During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

    This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

    Interactions

    Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

    Although most antibiotics are unlikely to affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, a few antibiotics (such as rifampin, rifabutin) can decrease their effectiveness. This could result in pregnancy. If you use hormonal birth control, ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

    This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including Coombs' test, certain urine glucose tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

    Overdose

    If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe/persistent vomiting, blood in the urine, seizures.

    Notes

    Do not share this medication with others.

    This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in that case.

    Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as kidney function, cultures) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

    Missed Dose

    If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip themissed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

    Storage

    Store the capsules and tablets at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom.

    Store the suspension in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C). Do not freeze. Keep the container tightly closed. Discard any unused portion after 14 days.

    Different brands of this medication may have different storage requirements. Read the package labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements for the product you are using.

    Keep all medications away from children and pets.

    Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.Information last revised November 2016. Copyright(c) 2016 First Databank, Inc.

    Images

    cephalexin 250 mg tablet
    cephalexin 250 mg tablet
    View Larger Picture
    color
    white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    TEVA, 22 38
    cephalexin 250 mg tablet
    cephalexin 250 mg tablet
    View Larger Picture
    color
    white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    B L, 136
    cephalexin 500 mg tablet
    cephalexin 500 mg tablet
    View Larger Picture
    color
    white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    TEVA, 22 40
    cephalexin 500 mg tablet
    cephalexin 500 mg tablet
    View Larger Picture
    color
    white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    B L, 137
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    swedish orange,gray
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    TEVA, 3145
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    swedish orange,gray
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    93 3145, 93 3145
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    swedish orange,gray
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    biocraft 115, biocraft 115
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    swedish orange
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    TEVA, 3147
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    swedish orange
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    93 3147, 93 3147
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    View Larger Picture
    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    View Larger Picture
    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    View Larger Picture
    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    View Larger Picture
    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    light green,dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    J2, J2
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    light green,dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    294, 294
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    802
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    light green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    219, 219
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    801
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    green,white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    KLX, 140
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    light green,green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    KLX, 141
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    View Larger Picture
    color
    orange
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    View Larger Picture
    color
    orange
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    View Larger Picture
    color
    orange
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    View Larger Picture
    color
    orange
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    220, 220
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    light green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    219, 219
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    white,dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    CCC 250, CCC 250
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    green,pale green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    CCC 500, CCC 500
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    light green,dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    500 500, LUPIN LUPIN
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    white,dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    293, 293
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    white,dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    A 42, 250 mg
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    light green,dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    A 43, 500 mg
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    green,white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    250, LUPIN
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    View Larger Picture
    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    View Larger Picture
    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    View Larger Picture
    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    View Larger Picture
    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    cephalexin 750 mg capsule
    cephalexin 750 mg capsule
    View Larger Picture
    color
    dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    CEP, 750
    cephalexin 250 mg tablet
    cephalexin 250 mg tablet

    Identification

    color
    white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    TEVA, 22 38
    This medicine is a white, oblong, scored, tablet imprinted with "TEVA" and "22 38".
    cephalexin 250 mg tablet
    cephalexin 250 mg tablet

    Identification

    color
    white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    B L, 136
    This medicine is a white, oblong, scored, tablet imprinted with "B L" and "136".
    cephalexin 500 mg tablet
    cephalexin 500 mg tablet

    Identification

    color
    white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    TEVA, 22 40
    This medicine is a white, oblong, scored, tablet imprinted with "TEVA" and "22 40".
    cephalexin 500 mg tablet
    cephalexin 500 mg tablet

    Identification

    color
    white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    B L, 137
    This medicine is a white, oblong, scored, tablet imprinted with "B L" and "137".
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    swedish orange,gray
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    TEVA, 3145
    This medicine is a swedish orange gray, oblong, capsule imprinted with "TEVA" and "3145".
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    swedish orange,gray
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    93 3145, 93 3145
    This medicine is a swedish orange gray, oblong, capsule imprinted with "93 3145" and "93 3145".
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    swedish orange,gray
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    biocraft 115, biocraft 115
    This medicine is a swedish orange gray, oblong, capsule imprinted with "biocraft 115" and "biocraft 115".
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    swedish orange
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    TEVA, 3147
    This medicine is a swedish orange, oblong, capsule imprinted with "TEVA" and "3147".
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    swedish orange
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    93 3147, 93 3147
    This medicine is a swedish orange, oblong, capsule imprinted with "93 3147" and "93 3147".
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension

    Identification

    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    This medicine is a pink, cherry mix, suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension

    Identification

    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    This medicine is a pink, cherry mix, suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension

    Identification

    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    This medicine is a pink, cherry mix, suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension

    Identification

    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    This medicine is a pink, cherry mix, suspension
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    light green,dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    J2, J2
    This medicine is a light green dark green, oblong, capsule imprinted with "J2" and "J2".
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    light green,dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    294, 294
    This medicine is a light green dark green, oblong, capsule imprinted with "294" and "294".
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    802
    This medicine is a white, oblong, capsule imprinted with "802".
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    light green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    219, 219
    This medicine is a light green, oblong, capsule imprinted with "219" and "219".
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    801
    This medicine is a white, oblong, capsule imprinted with "801".
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    green,white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    KLX, 140
    This medicine is a green white, oblong, capsule imprinted with "KLX" and "140".
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    light green,green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    KLX, 141
    This medicine is a light green green, oblong, capsule imprinted with "KLX" and "141".
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension

    Identification

    color
    orange
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    This medicine is a orange, orange, suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension

    Identification

    color
    orange
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    This medicine is a orange, orange, suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension

    Identification

    color
    orange
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    This medicine is a orange, orange, suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension

    Identification

    color
    orange
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    This medicine is a orange, orange, suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    220, 220
    This medicine is a dark green, oblong, capsule imprinted with "220" and "220".
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    light green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    219, 219
    This medicine is a light green, oblong, capsule imprinted with "219".
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    white,dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    CCC 250, CCC 250
    This medicine is a white dark green, oblong, capsule imprinted with "CCC 250" and "CCC 250".
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    green,pale green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    CCC 500, CCC 500
    This medicine is a green pale green, oblong, capsule imprinted with "CCC 500" and "CCC 500".
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    light green,dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    500 500, LUPIN LUPIN
    This medicine is a light green dark green, oblong, capsule imprinted with "500 500" and "LUPIN LUPIN".
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    white,dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    293, 293
    This medicine is a white dark green, oblong, capsule imprinted with "293" and "293".
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    white,dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    A 42, 250 mg
    This medicine is a white dark green, oblong, capsule imprinted with "A 42" and "250 mg".
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule
    cephalexin 500 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    light green,dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    A 43, 500 mg
    This medicine is a light green dark green, oblong, capsule imprinted with "A 43" and "500 mg".
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule
    cephalexin 250 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    green,white
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    250, LUPIN
    This medicine is a green white, oblong, capsule imprinted with "250" and "LUPIN".
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension

    Identification

    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    This medicine is a pink, strawberry, suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 125 mg/5 mL oral suspension

    Identification

    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    This medicine is a pink, strawberry, suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension

    Identification

    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    This medicine is a pink, strawberry, suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension
    cephalexin 250 mg/5 mL oral suspension

    Identification

    color
    pink
    shape
    No data.
    imprint
    No data.
    This medicine is a pink, strawberry, suspension
    cephalexin 750 mg capsule
    cephalexin 750 mg capsule

    Identification

    color
    dark green
    shape
    oblong
    imprint
    CEP, 750
    This medicine is a dark green, oblong, capsule imprinted with "CEP" and "750".

    Add to Cabinet

    Add Adderall to my medicine cabinet.

    Did you know?

    With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.

    Go to medicine cabinet

    Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

    CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

    More about Drugs and Medications

    Newsletters

    Subscribe to free WebMD newsletters.

    • WebMD Daily

      WebMD Daily

      Subscribe to the WebMD Daily, and you'll get today's top health news and trending topics, and the latest and best information from WebMD.

    • Men's Health

      Men's Health

      Subscribe to the Men's Health newsletter for the latest on disease prevention, fitness, sex, nutrition, and more from WebMD.

    • Women's Health

      Women's Health

      Subscribe to the Women's Health newsletter for the latest on disease prevention, fitness, sex, diet, anti-aging, and more from WebMD.

    By clicking Submit, I agree to the WebMD Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of WebMD subscriptions at any time.

    URAC Seal TRUSTe Privacy Certification TAG seal HONcode Seal AdChoices