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Keflex is an antibiotic medication used to treat upper and lower respiratory tract infections as well as skin, ear, and urinary tract infections caused by bacteria.

Cephalexin is a cephalosporin class of antibiotic with a wide antimicrobial spectrum. The drug is quickly absorbed in the upper intestinal tract, meaning it causes minimal stomach upset and doesn’t disturb healthy bacteria in your gut.

This medication fights infections by killing harmful bacteria. Keflex doesn’t penetrate host tissue cells which helps keep side effects to a minimum.

Uses and Dosage

The dose of Keflex prescribed will vary depending on the person and infection being treated. Always follow your doctor’s instructions when taking medication.

  • The typical adult dose is 250mg every 6 hours
  • Most doses should not exceed 4g daily
  • Do not take two doses at once
  • Use for the entire prescribed time, no more or less
  • Store in a dark space at room temperature away from heat and moisture

Side Effects

Keflex may cause some side effects while it fights bacterial infections. Speak with your doctor for more information about any symptoms you may encounter when taking cephalexin.

Common Keflex side effects may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion or stomach pain
  • Vaginal itching or discharge

Serious Side Effects

Some more serious side effects may occur while taking Keflex. Stop taking this antibiotic and call your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Severe stomach pain
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea (even if months after last dose)
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Purple or red spots under the skin
  • Seizure
  • Pale skin, cold hands and feet
  • Yellowed skin
  • Dark coloured urine
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Pain in your side or lower back, painful urination

Allergic Reactions

Do not use Keflex if you are allergic to cephalexin or other cephalosporin antibiotics. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs but especially penicillin or other antibiotics.

Keflex allergy symptoms may include:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling in face or throat
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Burning eyes
  • Skin pain
  • Red or purple rash
  • Blistering and peeling skin


To ensure your safety when taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, intestinal disorders, or diabetes.

Tell your doctor about all the medications that you take, especially metformin and probenecid.

Antibiotic medications including Keflex may cause diarrhea which can signal a new infection. If you have watery or bloody diarrhea, call your doctor.

Consult with your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding to ensure the safety of taking this antibiotic.

Forms and Strength

This medication is available in capsule and tablet forms.

Keflex strengths:

  • 250mg
  • 500mg

Both available strengths of Keflex come in quantities of 100 for capsule and tablet forms.


Can Keflex treat an abscess in the mouth or gum infection?

Yes, Keflex can be used for infections in the mouth including an abscessed tooth. Cephalexin fights infections by interrupting the formulation of the bacteria’s cell wall so it cannot form. Make sure you consult with your dentist about using Keflex for dental infections.

How long does it take for Keflex to work?

Cephalexin is quickly absorbed into the body and should start relieving symptoms of infection after 2 days. Make sure you take Keflex for the full length prescribed to you by a doctor to help prevent reinfection and antibiotic resistance.

How long does Keflex stay in your system?

Cephalexin is not only quickly absorbed into your body, but quickly processed through the kidneys. After 6 to 8 hours, 70 to 100% of each dose is excreted in urine. So, Keflex stays in your system for less than a day which is why it is important to take your doses throughout the day and for the entire prescribed length of time.



Additional information

Brand Name:


Scientific Name:


Other Names:

Cephadex, Keflex


250mg, 500mg

Quantities Available:



Capsule, Tablet