As a result of administration of cephalexin, a false-positive reaction for glucose in the urine may occur. This has been observed with Benedict’s and Fehling’s solutions and also with Clinitest® tablets.
Lifetime studies in animals have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of cephalexin. Tests to determine the mutagenic potential of cephalexin have not been performed. In male and female rats, fertility and reproductive performance were not affected by cephalexin oral doses up to 1.5 times the highest recommended human dose based upon mg/m2.
Reproduction studies have been performed on mice and rats using oral doses of cephalexin monohydrate 0.6 and 1.5 times the maximum daily human dose (66 mg/kg/day) based upon mg/m2 , and have revealed no harm to the fetus. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
The excretion of cephalexin in human milk increased up to 4 hours after a 500 mg dose; the drug reached a maximum level of 4 mcg/mL, then decreased gradually, and had disappeared 8 hours after administration. Caution should be exercised when cephalexin is administered to a nursing woman.
The safety and effectiveness of cephalexin in pediatric patients was established in clinical trials for the dosages described in the DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATIONsection. In these trials, pediatric patients may have received cephalexin capsules or cephalexin for oral suspension. Cephalexin capsules should only be used in children and adolescents capable of ingesting the capsule.
Of the 701 subjects in 3 published clinical studies of cephalexin, 433 (62%) were 65 and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
This drug is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function (see PRECAUTIONS, General).
Onset of pseudomembranous colitis may occur during or after antibacterial treatment (see WARNINGS). Nausea and vomiting have been reported rarely. The most frequent side effect has been diarrhea. It was very rarely severe enough to warrant cessation of therapy. Dyspepsia, gastritis, and abdominal pain have also occurred. As with some penicillins and some other cephalosporins, transient hepatitis and cholestatic jaundice have been reported rarely.
AlIergic reactions in the form of rash, urticaria, angioedema, and, rarely, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, or toxic epidermal necrolysis have been observed. These reactions usually subsided upon discontinuation of the drug. In some of these reactions, supportive therapy may be necessary. Anaphylaxis has also been reported.
Other reactions have included genital and anal pruritus, genital moniliasis, vaginitis and vaginal discharge, dizziness, fatigue, headache, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, arthralgia, arthritis, and joint disorder. Reversible interstitial nephritis has been reported rarely. Eosinophilia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, hemolytic anemia, and slight elevations in AST and ALT have been reported.
In addition to the adverse reactions listed above that have been observed in patients treated with cephalexin, the following adverse reactions and altered laboratory tests have been reported for cephalosporin class antibiotics:
Fever, colitis, aplastic anemia, hemorrhage, renal dysfunction, and toxic nephropathy.
Several cephalosporins have been implicated in triggering seizures, particularly in patients
with renal impairment when the dosage was not reduced (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE and PRECAUTIONS, General). If seizures associated with drug therapy should occur, the drug should be discontinued. Anticonvulsant therapy can be given if clinically indicated.
Prolonged prothrombin time, increased BUN, increased creatinine, elevated alkaline
phosphatase, elevated bilirubin, elevated LDH, pancytopenia, leukopenia, and agranulocytosis.
To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE EVENTS, contact FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov.
Symptoms of oral overdose may include nausea, vomiting, epigastric distress, diarrhea, and hematuria. If other symptoms are present, it is probably secondary to an underlying disease state, an allergic reaction, or toxicity due to ingestion of a second medication.
To obtain up-to-date information about the treatment of overdose, a good resource is your certified Regional Poison Control Center. Telephone numbers of certified poison control centers are listed in the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR). In managing overdosage, consider the possibility of multiple drug overdoses, interaction among drugs, and unusual drug kinetics in your patient.
Unless 5 to 10 times the normal dose of cephalexin has been ingested, gastrointestinal decontamination should not be necessary.
Protect the patient’s airway and support ventilation and perfusion. Meticulously monitor and maintain, within acceptable limits, the patient’s vital signs, blood gases, serum electrolytes, etc. Absorption of drugs from the gastrointestinal tract may be decreased by giving activated charcoal, which, in many cases, is more effective than emesis or lavage; consider charcoal instead of or in addition to gastric emptying. Repeated doses of charcoal over time may hasten elimination of some drugs that have been absorbed. Safeguard the patient’s airway when employing gastric emptying or charcoal.
Forced diuresis, peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis, or charcoal hemoperfusion have not been established as beneficial for an overdose of cephalexin; however, it would be extremely unlikely that one of these procedures would be indicated.
The oral median lethal dose of cephalexin in rats is > 5000 mg/kg.
Cephalexin is administered orally.
The adult dosage ranges from 1 to 4 g daily in divided doses. The 333 mg and 750 mg strengths should be administered such that the daily dose is within 1 to 4 grams per day. The usual adult dose is 250 mg every 6 hours. For the following infections, a dosage of 500 mg may be administered every 12 hours: streptococcal pharyngitis, skin and skin structure infections, and uncomplicated cystitis in patients over 15 years of age. Cystitis therapy should be continued for 7 to 14 days. For more severe infections or those caused by less susceptible organisms, larger doses may be needed. If daily doses of cephalexin greater than 4 g are required, parenteral cephalosporins, in appropriate doses, should be considered.
The usual recommended daily dosage for pediatric patients is 25 to 50 mg/kg in divided doses. For streptococcal pharyngitis in patients over 1 year of age and for skin and skin structure infections, the total daily dose may be divided and administered every 12 hours.
|Weight||125 mg/5 mL||250 mg/5 mL|
|10 kg (22 lb)||1/2 to 1 tsp q.i.d.||1/4 to 1/2 tsp q.i.d.|
|20 kg (44 lb)||1 to 2 tsp q.i.d.||1/2 to 1 tsp q.i.d.|
|40 kg (88 lb)||2 to 4 tsp q.i.d.||1 to 2 tsp q.i.d.|
|Weight||125 mg/5 mL||250 mg/5 mL|
|10 kg (22 lb)||1 to 2 tsp b.i.d.||1/2 to 1 tsp b.i.d|
|20 kg (44 lb)||2 to 4 tsp b.i.d.||1 to 2 tsp b.i.d.|
|40 kg (88 lb)||4 to 8 tsp b.i.d.||2 to 4 tsp b.i.d.|
In severe infections, the dosage may be doubled.
In the therapy of otitis media, clinical studies have shown that a dosage of 75 to 100 mg/kg/day in 4 divided doses is required.
In the treatment of β-hemolytic streptococcal infections, a therapeutic dosage of cephalexin should be administered for at least 10 days.
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