is cephalexin good for tooth infection | effectiveness, side effects, and some precautions




Cephalexin, also known as cephalexin, is an antibiotic that was discovered in 1967 and first marketed in 1969. It is now available as a generic drug and is on the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines. In this article, we will discuss the use of Cephalexin, its effectiveness, side effects, and some precautions to keep in mind.


Use and Effectiveness


Cephalexin is commonly prescribed for various bacterial infections, including staph and strep bacteria. It is useful for respiratory infections like strep throat, certain types of pneumonia, middle ear infections (otitis media), skin and soft tissue infections (such as cellulitis and abscesses), and urinary tract infections (UTIs). It can also be used to prevent bacterial infections in heart valves after dental procedures.


The effectiveness of Cephalexin depends on the susceptibility of the bacteria causing the infection. Resistance to Cephalexin can occur due to overuse, so it's important to use it only for appropriate indications and not for viral infections, common colds, or general sore throats.


Dosage and Administration


Cephalexin is available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and oral suspension. Standard dosages range from 250 mg to 750 mg, and the frequency of administration can vary depending on the infection and patient. The typical dose is about one gram per day, divided into two, three, or four doses. For children, dosing is based on weight.


The medication is absorbed well whether taken with or without food, but a higher peak blood concentration is achieved when taken without food. Food may delay the peak onset of action and prolong blood levels, but overall, the effectiveness remains consistent.


Side Effects


Cephalexin is generally well-tolerated, with common side effects including gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and dyspepsia. Less common side effects include rash, anemia, headache, and, in some women, vaginitis or genital yeast infections.


A significant concern with antibiotic use, including Cephalexin, is the risk of Clostridium difficile-associated disease. This can result from the alteration of intestinal bacteria and can lead to mild diarrhea to severe, potentially life-threatening colitis.




Patients should be cautious when taking Cephalexin if they have a history of allergies to penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics. A mild or moderate penicillin allergy may be manageable, but severe allergies should avoid Cephalexin.


Renal function should also be monitored, as decreased kidney function may necessitate lower doses of Cephalexin. Potential drug interactions with medications like probenecid (used for gout), metformin, and certain antacids should be considered.




Cephalexin is a relatively inexpensive and effective antibiotic for treating various bacterial infections. However, its overuse can contribute to antibiotic resistance, making it essential to use this medication only when necessary and under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Always remember that antibiotics like Cephalexin are ineffective against viral infections such as the common cold.

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