Cephalexin (Keflex) Nursing Considerations

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Included In This Lesson

Study Tools


Generic Name


Trade Name



Skin infections, pneumonia, UTI, otitis media


Bactericidal: binds to bacterial cell wall leading to cell death

Therapeutic Class


Pharmacologic Class

Cephalosporin 1st generation

Nursing Considerations

• Contraindicated with cephalosporin and serious penicillin allergies.
• May need lead to seizures, pseudomembranous colitis, diarrhea, phlebitis
at IV site, anaphylaxis
• Assess infection and allergies
• Obtain cultures prior to therapy
• Monitor bowel function
• May lead to superinfection
• May cause elevated liver enzymes

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Hey guys, let’s talk about cephalexin, also known as Keflex. This is an oral medication, as you can see here in the picture, but it also comes in an IV form. So remember with the you to class, we are talking about the action of the medication in the body while the pharmacologic class is the chemical effect in the body. So the therapeutic class of cephalexin is it’s an anti-infective while the pharmacologic class is a cephalosporin burst generation. So the mechanism of action of cephalexin is it is a bacteria Cytal, which means it binds to the bacterial cell wall leading to cell death. It’s indicated for skin infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and otitis media.

So what are some of the side effects that we see with cephalexin? Well, gastro Stratus and DYS Pepsi are common and with dyspepsia, which is that uncomfortable feeling in the upper abdomen, sometimes calms nausea and vomiting. So let’s take a look at a few nursing considerations for cephalexin you’ll to assess the infection in your patient during therapy, and also for any allergies during this the therapy also, and be sure to obtain cultures before the start of the medication, cephalexin may lead to seizures, pseudo OUS, colitis anaphylaxis, and as with all antibiotics, a super infection. And also specifically, this me medication can lead to elevated liver enzymes. So keep that in mind, cephalexin is contraindicated in patients who are allergic to cephalosporins and also patients who have serious penicillin allergies. It is important to mention that cephalexin should not be taken, taken with the drug Cho tyramine and important to teach your patient to monitor their bowel function. So guys, I am a surgical nurse, and even though this medication is predominantly used to treat infections, we also use this pro ally to prevent infections of surgery. When we give it in the pre-op period, that’s it for cephalexin or ke now go out and be your best self today. And as always happy nursing.

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