medication information


We want to make sure you fully understand your treatment. 
Below outlines the directions, benefits, expectations, and risks with Cephalexin.

Cephalexin is a cephalosporin antibacterial drug used to treat bacterial infections. Due to its anti-inflammatory effects, it is used off-label to treat acne.


Take the medication as instructed by your dermatologist.

DO NOT take this medication if:

  • You have known hypersensitivity reaction to the cephalosporin class of antibacterial drugs or to penicillin.
  • You are taking probenicid or metformin.
  • You have kidney dysfunction.
  • You have had recent antibiotic-associated colitis.

Tips to avoid side effects:

The most common side effects include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, indigestion and abdominal pain. Click here for the full list of side effects.

  • Take with food if you experience stomach upset.

Risks to be aware of:

  • Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (aka C. diff) can occur with nearly all antibiotics. If you develop severe watery or bloody diarrhea, stop the medication and contact your local doctor immediately.
  • If you develop anemia during or after treatment with cephalexin, stop the medication and contact your local doctor immediately for work-up of hemolytic anemia.
  • Cephalexin may cause a false-positive reaction for glucose in the urine.
  • Stop this medication if you develop hives or a rash on the skin.

Allergy alert:

Stop taking your medication immediately and seek emergency help if you experience any of these effects of an allergic or severe drug reaction:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • A severe rash, especially one involving your mouth or genital region.
  • Seizures.
  • Yellow tinge of the eyes/skin or dark urine.

You should message your dermatologist if you experience any side effects.

If you become pregnant while taking this medication, discontinue use immediately and message your doctor for an alternative.

You should not take this medication if nursing.

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