Cephalexin side effects are usually mild and do not pose any significant health risks, although any new or bothersome symptoms that appear after beginning treatment with this antibiotic should be reported to a doctor for further evaluation. Some of the most frequently reported cephalexin side effects include headaches, dizziness, and gastrointestinal disturbances. More serious side effects that should be reported to a doctor right away include yeast infections, bloody stool, and allergic reactions. Additional side effects are possible, so any specific questions or concerns should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
A mild to moderate headache is among the most common of reported side effects, and over-the-counter pain relievers often provide sufficient results. Prescription pain medications may be prescribed in some situations, although it is more common for the supervising physician to attempt to adjust the dosage or change the medication. The development of a sudden or severe headache should be evaluated at the nearest medical facility in order to rule out serious complications such as stroke or aneurysm.
Dizziness may occur during treatment with cephalexin, so caution should be used when performing tasks that require focus or concentration. Digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are often reported as cephalexin side effects. Taking the medication with food or milk may help to reduce some of these symptoms. Abdominal pain, fever, and blood in the stool should be reported to a doctor immediately to make sure there is no significant damage to the gastrointestinal tract.
Yeast infections have been reported as possible cephalexin side effects. Vaginal yeast infections may be transmitted through sexual contact, so protection should be used in order to avoid affecting sexual partners. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection often include pain during urination or sexual activity, itching, and vaginal discharge that resembles cottage cheese. Thrush is a type of yeast infection that affects the mouth and causes symptoms such as pain, white patches, and difficulty swallowing.
Allergic reactions may occur when taking this antibiotic, even if the medication has been well tolerated in the past. Hives, itching, or swelling of the hands or feet should be reported to a doctor, and an over-the-counter antihistamine may help to reduce the severity of these symptoms. A potentially fatal type of allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis requires emergency medical treatment. Anaphylactic symptoms may include dizziness, facial swelling, and difficulty breathing. Any suspected cephalexin side effects should be discussed with a medical professional so that an individualized treatment plan can be developed.