Antibiotic medications became widely available during the 1940s with the invention of penicillin. Since that time, scientists developed a number of other medications that are effective in battling bacteria responsible for illnesses and infections. One such antibiotic is cephalexin, commonly prescribed for infections of the skin, ears, bladder, bones and sinuses. In Canada, cephalexin is available under the brand name Apo-Cephalex. Despite its effectiveness, Apo-Cephalex is not for everyone as it presents several risks for side effects and complications in some patients.
Common Side Effects
The most common side effects of Apo-Cephalex are not normally serious or long lasting. Side effects include mild diarrhea, stomach cramps and soreness in your head, mouth or tongue. For women, vaginal itching and discharge are common side effects.
Other Side Effects
Apo-Cephalex also may cause other uncommon, but not dangerous, side effects. Additional gastrointestinal side effects of the drug include flatulence, loss of appetite, indigestion, nausea and vomiting. Some patients experience neurological side effects, including agitation, confusion, dizziness and fatigue. Other rare side effects of the drug are possible, such as joint pain, anal itching and yeast infections.
Some medications produce unwanted side effects when used with Apo-Cephalex. For instance, Apo-Cephalex causes increased amounts of the diabetic medication Metformin to remain in your system, sometimes causing dangerous drops in blood sugar levels. Additionally, the gout medication Probenecid increases your risk of developing serious side effects from Apo-Cephalex.
Apo-Cephalex has the potential to cause serious medical complications. Some people experience hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to the drug, resulting in difficulty breathing, extreme swelling or shock. In rare instances, Apo-Cephalex causes potentially life-threatening infections of the skin, such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Infrequently, the drug leads to liver dysfunction, causing jaundice. Other extremely rare complications of Apo-Cephalex include hearing loss and seizures.
Because there is not yet sufficient evidence that Apo-Cephalex does not affect the fetus, doctors typically do not prescribe the drug for pregnant women. Doctors usually do not recommend the drug for infants, due to an increased likelihood of side effects in babies. If you have a history of colitis or kidney disease, your doctor is not likely to prescribe Apo-Cephalex for you due to potential complications. You should not take Apo-Cephalex if you have experienced an allergic reaction to penicillin or to any cephalosporin antibiotic.