Keflex (cephalexin) is an antibiotic commonly used to treat bacterial infections. It belongs to a class of medications known as cephalosporin antibiotics and is available by prescription-only. It comes in different forms, including tablets, capsules, and liquids.
Although there is no reported interaction between alcohol and Keflex, it does not necessarily mean it is safe to mix these two substances. Some individuals experience unwanted side effects when consuming alcohol in combination with cephalexin.
NOTE: For the purposes of this article, the terms Keflex and cephalexin will be used interchangeably, as the latter is the generic drug and the former is a popular name brand.
Moreover, cephalexin has side effects comparable to those of alcohol, such as drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea. Hence, when you combine these two substances, the side effects of both may be exacerbated. Therefore, if you experience these effects, it would be best to discontinue alcohol consumption until the doctor-directed course of treatment has been completed.
Possible Side Effects and Dangers of Combining Cephalexin and Alcohol
Mixing alcohol and antibiotics can cause side effects, such as the following:
- Stomach cramps
- Skin flushing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Heart Palpitations
It is best to avoid drinking alcohol when taking Keflex or any other antibiotics, which can induce many adverse effects. The liver especially breaks down alcohol to produce acetaldehyde. This product of alcohol breakdown can result in nausea. Cephalexin already tends to produce side effects, such as upset stomach, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Therefore, drinking alcohol alongside can further exacerbate these symptoms.
Drinking alcohol on cephalexin can affect the recovery timeline of a bacterial infection. This is because drinking alcohol impairs normal body processes such as sleep, digestion, and hydration and increases a person’s risk of developing another infection.
Does Alcohol Reduce the Effectiveness of Antibiotics?
There is a chance that heavy alcohol consumption will impair the effectiveness of antibiotics. Drinking alcohol while on antibiotics can compromise the immune system; and, therefore, make it more difficult for the body’s defense system to battle and defeat the infection.
Drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics may be risky. Although it appears drinking alcohol while taking cephalexin is relatively safe, this is not the case for many other similar medications. Other antibiotics you should not take alongside alcohol include the following:
More About Keflex (Cephalexin)
Cephalexin is primarily used for treating bacterial infections, which cause diseases such as pneumonia, respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, heart valve infections, and infections that affect the ears, genitals, and skin.
Side Effects and Risks of Cephalexin
Just like most medications, cephalexin has been linked to specific side effects. Common side effects of cephalexin include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Upset stomach and pain
- Joint pain
- Vaginal itching/discharge
- Oral thrush
More severe side effects of cephalexin that could necessitate urgent medical intervention include the following:
- Severe rash
- Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)
- Joint swelling
- Lips, face, mouth swelling
- Swollen throat
- Unusual bleeding and bruises
Also, cephalexin may interact with other commonly prescribed medications, such as blood thinners.
Treatment for Alcohol Abuse and Addiction
Individuals who suffer from an alcohol addiction drink excessively and frequently and put themselves and others at risk. Therefore, it is essential to quickly seek help and treat your alcohol addiction, as this condition can impair a person’s health and ability to function.
Below are effective treatment options for alcohol abuse and addiction:
People with alcohol addiction often need some type of rehabilitation to recover from addiction. Inpatient (residential) care involves admitting the individual into a home-life facility and undergoing intensive care and monitoring.
Intensive Outpatient Care
Outpatient care includes many of the same therapies and benefits as residential treatment but is designed to take place around a person’s schedule to attend to external obligations and doesn’t require them to stay overnight.
The use of medicines (medication-assisted treatment) is another effective treatment option for alcohol abuse and addiction. For example, naltrexone (e.g., Vivitrol) and acamprosate can also help treat alcohol abuse and addiction.
Aftercare Programs and Peer Support Groups
The need for ongoing support after completing intensive treatment is essential for sustaining long-term recovery. Participating in a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous helps motivated individuals to overcome addiction and help them deal with lifestyle changes, and prevent relapse.
Just Believe Recovery offers comprehensive programs that include the therapies and services individuals who suffer from addiction desperately need to achieve a full recovery and long-lasting well-being. So don’t be afraid to take the first step toward endless happiness and healthiness!