October 20, 2019 - 2 min read 🍵

Tags: lifebiochemistry

Disclaimer: This post is strictly for informational purpose and contains the contents of my personal experience, opinion and research I found on the internet and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare providers for any questions regarding your condition.

What is cephalexin?

Cephalexin is an antibiotic that can treat a number of bacterial infections including skin infections, respiratory tract and urinary tract. Similarly to amoxicillin, they are in the β-lactam antibiotic class. Cephalexin is also a first-generation cephalosporin antibiotic; they originated from a fungus originally known as Cephalosporium[1].

Cephalexin is on the list of most effective and safe medicines found on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.

How does cephalexin work?

Cephalexin kills gram positive and gram negative bacteria by using their β-lactam ring, a special cyclic amide, to bind to penicillin-binding proteins which prevent a process called transpeptidation[2].

By preventing transpeptidation, the bacterial cell walls will not have the structural integrity to resist osmotic lysis. As a result, the bacteria will release enzymes to self-destruct or burst due to osmotic imbalance as a result of cephalexin[3].

Common side effects of antibiotics

Like many antibiotics, it may cause cases of pseudomembranous colitis which is the inflammation of the large intestine due to the overgrowth of Clostridium difficile. The overgrowth of C. difficle causes the build up of its toxins that causes the inflammation and thus cause diarrhea[4].

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