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Cephalexin 500 mg Side Effects

author image Laura Candelaria
Laura Candelaria is a family nurse practitioner and assistant professor of nursing and nutritional science. Her experience includes neonatal and pediatric intensive-care, women's oncology, gynecology, obstetrics, lactation, nutrition and infertility. She has been published in "Nursing Spectrum," "Newsday" and on various websites.
Cephalexin 500 mg Side Effects
Cephalexin is used to treat bacterial infections. It does have side effects. Photo Credit Open bottle with tablets image by odze from <a href="http://www.fotolia.com">Fotolia.com</a>

Cephalexin, or Keflex is a medication in a classification of drugs known as cephalosporin antibiotics. According to PDR Health, cephalexin is an antibiotic used to treat infections of the respiratory tract, the middle ear, the bones, the skin, and the reproductive and urinary systems. This medication should be used for the entire length of time for which it is prescribed. Early discontinuation of treatment may lead to a worsening of infection. There are some side effects associated with cephalexin of which users should be aware.

Gastrointestinal Discomfort

Patients taking cephalexin 500 mg may experience gastrointestinal discomfort. Symptoms can include mild nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, reports Drugs.com. Taking cephalexin with food or milk may minimize gastrointestinal effects. Severe vomiting and diarrhea should be reported to a physician. It can lead to the development of dehydration, which may be dangerous.

Dizziness and Fatigue

According to Drugs.com, dizziness and a tired feeling can occur while taking cephalexin 500 mg. Patients should use caution while driving or operating machinery, which can be dangerous until they know how this medication will affect them. Users may feel more tired and sleepy than usual. Additional night time sleep or a mid-day nap may help alleviate the fatigue associated with cephalexin.

Vaginal Itching and Discharge

According to Drugs.com, patients taking cephalexin 500 mg may experience vaginal itching and discharge. In some cases, the use of antibiotics can lead to the development of a vaginal yeast infection by destroying some of the body's good bacteria, thus creating an environment more susceptible to yeast. Natural methods that may help shield the body from developing a yeast infection include taking a daily over-the-counter probiotic supplement, or eating foods high in natural probiotics such as yogurt. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection can include vaginal itching, redness, burning, pain with intercourse and a white-colored vaginal discharge. A vaginal yeast infection can be diagnosed by a physician performing a vaginal examination and analyzing vaginal fluids under a microscope for the presence of yeast. Women who experience vaginal itching and discharge while taking cephalexin should consult their gynecologist.

Severe Reaction

In rare cases, cephalexin 500 mg may cause a severe reaction. According to Drugs.com, symptoms of a severe reaction can include seizure, bloody diarrhea, a blistering skin rash, yellow-colored skin, hallucinations, and an absence of urination. These side effects should be promptly reported to a physician for further instruction.

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