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Keflex (Cephalexin) - Summary



Keflex® (Cephalexin Capsules, USP) is a semisynthetic cephalosporin antibiotic intended for oral administration.

Keflex is indicated for the treatment of the following infections when caused by susceptible strains of the designated microorganisms:

Respiratory tract infections caused by S. pneumoniae and S. pyogenes (Penicillin is the usual drug of choice in the treatment and prevention of streptococcal infections, including the prophylaxis of rheumatic fever. Keflex is generally effective in the eradication of streptococci from the nasopharynx; however, substantial data establishing the efficacy of Keflex in the subsequent prevention of rheumatic fever are not available at present.)

Otitis media due to S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, staphylococci, streptococci, and M. catarrhalis

Skin and skin structure infections caused by staphylococci and/or streptococci

Bone infections caused by staphylococci and/or P. mirabilis

Genitourinary tract infections, including acute prostatitis, caused by E. coli, P. mirabilis, and K. pneumoniae

Note --Culture and susceptibility tests should be initiated prior to and during therapy. Renal function studies should be performed when indicated.

To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of Keflex and other antibacterial drugs, Keflex should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria. When culture and susceptibility information are available, they should be considered in selecting or modifying antibacterial therapy. In the absence of such data, local epidemiology and susceptibility patterns may contribute to the empiric selection of therapy.

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Published Studies Related to Keflex (Cephalexin)

Randomized controlled trial of cephalexin versus clindamycin for uncomplicated pediatric skin infections. [2011.03]
OBJECTIVE: To compare clindamycin and cephalexin for treatment of uncomplicated skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) caused predominantly by community-associated (CA) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We hypothesized that clindamycin would be superior to cephalexin (an antibiotic without MRSA activity) for treatment of these infections... CONCLUSIONS: There is no significant difference between cephalexin and clindamycin for treatment of uncomplicated pediatric SSTIs caused predominantly by CA-MRSA. Close follow-up and fastidious wound care of appropriately drained, uncomplicated SSTIs are likely more important than initial antibiotic choice.

Effects of sodium bicarbonate and ammonium chloride pre-treatments on PEPT2 (SLC15A2) mediated renal clearance of cephalexin in healthy subjects. [2011]
PEPT2 mediates the H(+) gradient-driving reabsorption of di- and tri-peptides, and various peptidomimetic compounds in the kidney... This effect was more obvious for the PEPT2*2/*2.

Efficacy and tolerability of once-daily cephalexin in canine superficial pyoderma: an open controlled study. [2008.08]
OBJECTIVES: The aims of this study were to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of oral cephalexin given at 30 mg/kg once daily in dogs with superficial pyoderma and to compare them with those of oral cephalexin given at 15 mg/kg twice daily. METHODS: Twenty dogs with superficial pyoderma were treated with cephalexin at 30 to 60 mg/kg orally once daily (group A) and compared with 20 dogs treated at a dose of 15 to 30 mg/kg orally twice daily (group B)...

randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of cephalexin for treatment of uncomplicated skin abscesses in a population at risk for community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection. [2007.11]
Empirical use of beta-lactam antibiotics, the preferred agents for treating uncomplicated skin and soft tissue infections, may no longer be appropriate for these infections because of the increasing prevalence of community strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)...

Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Cephalexin for Treatment of Uncomplicated Skin Abscesses in a Population at Risk for Community Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infection. [2007.09.10]
Background- Empirical use of beta-lactam antibiotics, the preferred agents for treating uncomplicated skin and soft-tissue infections, may no longer be appropriate for these infections because of increasing prevalence of community strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)...

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Clinical Trials Related to Keflex (Cephalexin)

Comparison of Intravenous Cefazolin Plus Oral Probenecid With Oral Cephalexin for the Treatment of Cellulitis [Recruiting]
The purpose of this study is to determine whether oral cephalexin is equivalent to intravenous cefazolin plus oral probenecid for the treatment of uncomplicated skin and soft tissue infections in patients that present to the emergency department.

Comparison of Cephalexin Versus Clindamycin for Empiric Treatment of Suspected CA-MRSA Skin Infections [Recruiting]
The purpose of this study is to help define the role of antibiotics in the treatment of pediatric skin infections caused by CA-MRSA. We hypothesize that treatment with cephalexin, a penicillin-like antibiotic to which CA-MRSA would be expected to be resistant, does not result in poorer outcomes than treatment with clindamycin, an antibiotic to which CA-MRSA is most often susceptible.

A Study to Compare Cefdinir and Cephalexin for the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Uncomplicated Skin Infections [Completed]
The purpose of this study is to compare the efficacy and tolerability of cefdinir to that of cephalexin in patients with mild to moderate uncomplicated skin/skin structure infections.

The SCOUT Study: Short Course Therapy for Urinary Tract Infections in Children [Recruiting]
To determine if halting antimicrobial therapy in subjects who have exhibited clinical improvement 5 days after starting antibiotic therapy (short course therapy) have the same failure rate, defined as symptomatic Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) through Test of Cure (TOC) on Day 12-14, as subjects who continue to take antibiotics for an additional 5 days (standard course therapy). To determine if short-course therapy compared to standard course therapy results in similar numbers of children with gastrointestinal colonization of antimicrobial resistant Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Klebsiella pneumonia (K. pneumoniae).

Prophylactic Use of Antibiotics for Through and Through Lacerations of the Lip [Recruiting]
Facial lacerations are a commonly encountered problem in the emergency department. Despite this, few original articles have been written concerning the management of lacerations of the lip which communicate with the oral cavity. Specifically, no study has been able to definitively show whether the use of antibiotics for these wounds decreases the infection rate. These cutaneous wounds are a unique type of laceration because they are continuously contaminated with oropharyngeal flora. Contaminated wounds result in larger, less cosmetic scars. Scars which involve the face have been shown to have a negative psychological impact. In this study, the investigators aim to determine whether the use of antibiotics decrease the rate of infection in lacerations of the lip which communicate with the oral cavity. Patients will be randomized to one of two currently practiced therapies. Patients will receive either cephalexin or no treatment following the repair of their through-and-through lip lacerations to determine whether antibiotics decrease the infection rate in these wounds.

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Reports of Suspected Keflex (Cephalexin) Side Effects

Drug Hypersensitivity (41)Rash (10)Drug Ineffective (9)Hypersensitivity (8)Nausea (7)Cellulitis (5)Staphylococcal Infection (5)Arthralgia (5)Adverse Drug Reaction (4)Urticaria (4)more >>


Based on a total of 14 ratings/reviews, Keflex has an overall score of 4.86. The effectiveness score is 7.71 and the side effect score is 6.57. The scores are on ten point scale: 10 - best, 1 - worst. Below are selected reviews: the highest, the median and the lowest rated.

Keflex review by 43 year old male patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Considerably Effective
Side effects:   No Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   post surgery antibiotic
Dosage & duration:   500mg taken one cap 3 x day for the period of week
Other conditions:   depression
Other drugs taken:   noone
Reported Results
Benefits:   removed bacteria from a rather invasive surgery that could have encountered complications which could lead to other serious side effects
Side effects:   None - i experienced no side effects and was very happy with the results. Will use this product again if i need to.
Comments:   Taking One capsule 3 times per day to combat infection and I found it to work effectively


Keflex review by 40 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Ineffective
Side effects:   Severe Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   infected lymph node
Dosage & duration:   don't remember (dosage frequency: twice daily) for the period of 5 days
Other conditions:   none
Other drugs taken:   none
Reported Results
Benefits:   there were no treatment benefits in taking this drug
Side effects:   i broke out into hives all over my torso
Comments:   i was seen in the doctor's office for a swollen lymph node in my groin. at first i was told to use warm compresses; this didn't work, so they put me on an antibiotic (keflex) and within 2 days i had broken out into hives all over my torso, and the lymph node did not decrease at all in size. it was still red, swollen, and painful. i then heard about lymph drainage, done by a certified massage therapist. went for one session. by the end of the session, my lymph node was smaller, no longer red, and no longer painful; within a day after the session, the lymph node was no longer swollen.


Keflex review by 54 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Highly Effective
Side effects:   Severe Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   tooth infection
Dosage & duration:   500mg taken 1st course: 3x day, 2nd course, 2x day for the period of 9 days, then 2 days
Other conditions:   hypothyroid, mitral valve prolapse
Other drugs taken:   Synthroid, estrogen, darvocet, 1 small dose immodium
Reported Results
Benefits:   Really cut down the tooth infection/pain and swollen glands, during the first course of treatment I did not have any side effects at all.
Side effects:   Severe diarrhea, very severe vomiting
Comments:   I was given keflex (3x daily) for an infected root canal that needed to be redone. The swelling, pain and swollen glands subsided substantially while I was waiting 2 weeks for my appt to have the root canal redone. After the root canal, the dentist put me back on the keflex (2x daily) to insure against further infection, also since I have mitral valve prolapse. After 2 doses I developed diarrhea and took .5mg of immodium (I am sensitive to immodium, only need a very small dose). 8 hours later I developed worse diarrhea and then very severe vomiting, stomach pain, severe headache, dizziness, chills. Also my muscles were shaking and cramping as if I was very cold. I had to be taken to the urgent care, received an injection of phenergan which helped, and told never to take keflex again. Flu test was negative, I had not eaten anything during that day which could have caused food poisoning. Dx: gastroenteritis caused by keflex.

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Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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