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Cefalexin

dm+d VMPP - 1053311000001104

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Cefalexin, also spelled cephalexin, is an antibiotic that can treat a number of bacterial infections. It kills gram-positive and some gram-negative bacteria by disrupting the growth of the bacterial cell wall. Cefalexin is a beta-lactam antibiotic within the class of first-generation cephalosporins. It works similarly to other agents within this class, including intravenous cefazolin, but can be taken by mouth.Cefalexin can treat certain bacterial infections, including those of the middle ear, bone and joint, skin, and urinary tract. It may also be used for certain types of pneumonia, strep throat, and to prevent bacterial endocarditis. Cefalexin is not effective against infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Enterococcus, or Pseudomonas. Like other antibiotics, cefalexin cannot treat viral infections, such as the flu, common cold or acute bronchitis. Cefalexin can be used in those who have mild or moderate allergies to penicillin. However, it is not recommended in those with severe penicillin allergies.Common side effects include stomach upset and diarrhea. Allergic reactions or infections with Clostridium difficile, a cause of diarrhea, are also possible. Use during pregnancy or breast feeding does not appear to be harmful to the baby. It can be used in children and those over 65 years of age. Those with kidney problems may require a decrease in dose.Cefalexin was developed in 1967. It was first marketed in 1969 and 1970 under the names Keflex and Ceporex, among others. Generic drug versions are available under other trade names and are inexpensive. Cefalexin is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. In 2016 it was the 107th most prescribed medication in the United States with more than 6 million prescriptions. In Canada, it was the 5th most common antibiotic used in 2013. In Australia, it is one of the top 15 most prescribed medications.

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