Cefalexin is a beta-lactam antibiotic that is effective against several bacterial infections. Especially suited for killing gram-positive and some gram-negative bacteria. These include common bacterial infections, such as pneumonia and similar chest infections, skin infections, and urinary tract infections.
Cefalexin was first marketed in 1969 and 1970 under the names Keflex and Ceporex, among others.
Eli Lilly and Co-developed Cefalexin in 1967. However, since the expiry of that patent, several generic drug versions are available under other trade names. Its efficacy around the world has earned it a place on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, indicating its superb safety record.
In 2017, it was one of the highest-selling medicines in the world. In Canada alone, it was 5th frequently prescribed antibiotic and also in the top 15 in countries like Australia.
Forms and Dosage
Cefalexin is available as capsules, tablets or as an oral suspension for children and for those with difficulty in swallowing.
In the treatment of Genitourinary Tract Infections, bone infections, Uncomplicated Cystitis, Otitis Media, and similar conditions, the recommended adult dose is 250 mg to be taken every 1-8 hours depending on the condition and the doctor’s prescription.
The same does of 250mg per day, with varying frequencies in curing Skin/Skin Structure Infections.
Whereas for Respiratory Tract Infections, Streptococcal Pharyngitis, Cellulitis, and Mastitis, the standard adult dose is 500 mg taken 2 times a day for at least 4 days or as recommended by the doctor.
The cost of Cefalexin
Cefalexin is an inexpensive drug around the world given its wide usage. In Canada, the consumers have to pay, for a seven-day course, a price of about CA$25.
As of 2019, the wholesale cost for the same medicine can cost as low as CA$4.76. the wholesale price in the USA was US$20.96 as and in Australia, the same course costs between A$12 to A$26.77. In the UK, the consumer has to pay about £9.
However, Cefalexin wholesale price in the developing world is significantly cheaper at US$2.18 – US$3.
How does Cefalexin work?
Cefalexin is a beta-lactam antibiotic of the cephalosporin family whose main actions cause bactericide. It does this inhibiting synthesis of the peptidoglycan layer of the bacterial cell wall. Because it closely resembles the amino acid ending on the peptidoglycan layer of the cell wall, it irreversibly binds to the active site of PBP eventually resulting in the synthesis of the cell wall.
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