Cephalexin: Package Insert and Label Information

CEPHALEXIN- cephalexin capsule
Carlsbad Technology, Inc.

Rx Only

To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of Cephalexin Capsules and other antibacterial drugs, Cephalexin Capsules should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by bacteria.

DESCRIPTION

Cephalexin Capsule, USP is a semisynthetic cephalosporin antibiotic intended for oral administration. It is 7-(D-α-Amino-α-phenylacetamido)-3-methyl-3-cephem-4-carboxylic acid monohydrate. Cephalexin has the molecular formula C16 H17 N3 O4 S•H2 O and the molecular weight is 365.41.

Cephalexin has the following structural formula:

Structural Formula
(click image for full-size original)

The nucleus of cephalexin is related to that of other cephalosporin antibiotics. The compound is a zwitterion; i.e., the molecule contains both a basic and an acidic group. The isoelectric point of cephalexin in water is approximately 4.5 to 5.

The crystalline form of cephalexin which is available is a monohydrate. It is a white crystalline solid having a bitter taste. Solubility in water is low at room temperature; 1 or 2 mg/mL may be dissolved readily, but higher concentrations are obtained with increasing difficulty.

The cephalosporins differ from penicillins in the structure of the bicyclic ring system.

Cephalexin has a D -phenylglycyl group as substituent at the 7-amino position and an unsubstituted methyl group at the 3-position.

Each 250-mg capsule contains cephalexin monohydrate equivalent to 250 mg of cephalexin and each 500-mg capsule contains cephalexin monohydrate equivalent to 500 mg of cephalexin. The inactive ingredients: magnesium stearate, sodium starch glycolate, lactose monohydrate, talc, colloidal silicone dioxide.

The capsule shells contain gelatin, titanium dioxide, FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Yellow No. 5. The imprinting ink components on 250 mg and 500 mg capsules: shellac, dehydrated alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, butyl alcohol, propylene glycol, purified water, strong ammonia solution, potassium hydroxide and black iron oxide.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Human Pharmacology

Cephalexin is acid stable and may be given without regard to meals. It is rapidly absorbed after oral administration. Following doses of 250 mg, 500 mg, and 1 g, average peak serum levels of approximately 9, 18, and 32 μg/mL respectively were obtained at 1 hour. Measurable levels were present 6 hours after administration. Cephalexin is excreted in the urine by glomerular filtration and tubular secretion. Studies showed that over 90% of the drug was excreted unchanged in the urine within 8 hours. During this period, peak urine concentrations following the 250-mg, 500-mg, and 1-g doses were approximately 1000, 2200, and 5000 μg/mL respectively.

Microbiology

In vitro tests demonstrate that the cephalosporins are bactericidal because of their inhibition of cell-wall synthesis. Cephalexin has been shown to be active against most strains of the following microorganisms both in vitro and in clinical infections as described in the INDICATIONS AND USAGE section.

Aerobes, Gram-positive:

Staphylococcus aureus (including penicillinase-producing strains)

Streptococcus pneumoniae (penicillin-susceptible strains)

Streptococcus pyogenes

Aerobes, Gram-negative:

Escherichia coli

Haemophilus influenzae

Klebsiella pneumoniae

Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis

Proteus mirabilis

Note — Methicillin-resistant staphylococci and most strains of enterococci (Enterococcus faecalis [formerly Streptococcus faecalis ]) are resistant to cephalosporins, including cephalexin. It is not active against most strains of Enterobacter spp., Morganella morganii , and Proteus vulgaris. It has no activity against Pseudomonas spp. or Acinetobacter calcoaceticus. Penicill-inresistant Streptococcus pneumoniae is usually cross-resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics.

Susceptibility Tests

Dilution techniques — Quantitative methods are used to determine antimicrobial minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC’s). These MIC’s provide estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antimicrobial compounds. The MIC’s should be determined using a standardized procedure. Standardized procedures are based on a dilution method1-3 (broth or agar) or equivalent with standardized inoculum concentrations and standardized concentrations of cephalothin powder. The MIC values should be interpreted according to the following criteria:

MIC (μg /mL) Interpretation
≦8 Susceptible (S)
16 Intermediate (I)
≧32 Resistant (R)

A report of “Susceptible” indicates that the pathogen is likely to be inhibited if the antimicrobial compound in the blood reaches the concentrations usually achievable. A report of “Intermediate” indicates that the result should be considered equivocal, and, if the microorganism is not fully susceptible to alternative, clinically feasible drugs, the test should be repeated. This category implies possible clinical applicability in body sites where the drug is physiologically concentrated or in situations where high dosage of drug can be used. This category also provides a buffer zone which prevents small uncontrolled technical factors from causing major discrepancies in interpretation. A report of “Resistant” indicates that the pathogen is not likely to be inhibited if the antimicrobial compound in the blood reaches the concentrations usually achievable; other therapy should be selected.

Standardized susceptibility test procedures require the use of laboratory control microorganisms to control the technical aspects of the laboratory procedures. Standard cephalothin powder should provide the following MIC values:

Microorganism MIC (μg /mL)
E. coli ATCC 25922 4-16
S. aureus ATCC 29213 0.12-0.5

Diffusion techniques — Quantitative methods that require measurement of zone diameters also provide reproducible estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antimicrobial compounds. One such standardized procedure2,3 requires the use of standardized inoculum concentrations. This procedure uses paper disks impregnated with 30-μg cephalothin to test the susceptibility of microorganisms to cephalexin.

Reports from the laboratory providing results of the standard single-disk susceptibility test with a 30-μg cephalothin disk should be interpreted according to the following criteria:

Zone Diameter (mm) Interpretation
≧18 Susceptible (S)
15-17 Intermediate (I)
≦14 Resistant (R)

Interpretation should be as stated above for results using dilution techniques. Interpretation involves correlation of the diameter obtained in the disk test with the MIC for cephalexin.

As with standard dilution techniques, diffusion methods require the use of laboratory control microorganisms that are used to control the technical aspects of the laboratory procedures. For the diffusion technique, the 30-μg cephalothin disk should provide the following zone diameters in these laboratory test quality control strains:

Microorganism Zone Diameter (mm)
E. coli ATCC 25922 15-21
S. aureus ATCC 25923 29-37

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Cephalexin Capsule, USP is indicated for the treatment of the following infections when caused by susceptible strains of the designated microorganisms:

Respiratory tract infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus pyogenes

(Penicillin is the usual drug of choice in the treatment and prevention of streptococcal infections, including the prophylaxis of rheumatic fever. Cephalexin is generally effective in the eradication of streptococci from the nasopharynx; however, substantial data establishing the efficacy of cephalexin in the subsequent prevention of rheumatic fever are not available at present.)

Otitis media due to Streptococcus pneumoniae , Haemophilus influenzae , Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes , and Moraxella catarrhalis

Skin and skin structure infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and/or Streptococcus pyogenes

Bone infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and/or Proteus mirabilis

Genitourinary tract infections, including acute prostatitis, caused by Escherichia coli ,

Proteus mirabilis , and Klebsiella pneumoniae

Note — Culture and susceptibility tests should be initiated prior to and during therapy. Renal function studies should be performed when indicated.

To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of Cephalexin Capsules, USP and other antibacterial drugs, Cephalexin Capsules, USP should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria. When culture and susceptibility information are available, they should be considered in selecting or modifying antibacterial therapy. In the absence of such data, local epidemiology and susceptibility patterns may contribute to the empiric selection of therapy.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Cephalexin is contraindicated in patients with known allergy to the cephalosporin group of antibiotics.

WARNINGS

BEFORE THERAPY WITH CEPHALEXIN IS INSTITUTED, CAREFUL INQUIRY SHOULD BE MADE TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE PATIENT HAS HAD PREVIOUS HYPERSENSITIVITY REACTIONS TO CEPHALEXIN, CEPHALOSPORINS, PENICILLINS, OR OTHER DRUGS. IF THIS PRODUCT IS TO BE GIVEN TO PENICILLIN-SENSITIVE PATIENTS, CAUTION SHOULD BE EXERCISED BECAUSE CROSS-HYPERSENSITIVITY AMONG BETA-LACTAM ANTIBIOTICS HAS BEEN CLEARLY DOCUMENTED AND MAY OCCUR IN UP TO 10% OF PATIENTS WITH A HISTORY OF PENICILLIN ALLERGY. IF AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO CEPHALEXIN OCCURS, DISCONTINUE THE DRUG. SERIOUS ACUTE HYPERSENSITIVITY REACTIONS MAY REQUIRE TREATMENT WITH EPINEPHRINE AND OTHER EMERGENCY MEASURES, INCLUDING OXYGEN, INTRAVENOUS FLUIDS, INTRAVENOUS ANTIHISTAMINES, CORTICOSTEROIDS, PRESSOR AMINES AND AIRWAY MANAGEMENT, AS CLINICALLY INDICATED.

There is some clinical and laboratory evidence of partial cross-allergenicity of the penicillins and the cephalosporins. Patients have been reported to have had severe reactions (including anaphylaxis) to both drugs.

Any patient who has demonstrated some form of allergy, particularly to drugs, should receive antibiotics cautiously. No exception should be made with regard to cephalexin.

Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including cephalexin, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.

C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.

If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile , and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.

PRECAUTIONS

General

Prescribing Cephalexin Capsules in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.

Patients should be followed carefully so that any side effects or unusual manifestations of drug idiosyncrasy may be detected. If an allergic reaction to cephalexin occurs, the drug should be discontinued and the patient treated with the usual agents (e.g., epinephrine or other pressor amines, antihistamines, or corticosteroids).

Prolonged use of cephalexin may result in the overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms. Careful observation of the patient is essential. If superinfection occurs during therapy, appropriate measures should be taken.

Positive direct Coombs’ tests have been reported during treatment with the cephalosporin antibiotics. In hematologic studies or in transfusion cross-matching procedures when antiglobulin tests are performed on the minor side or in Coombs’ testing of newborns whose mothers have received cephalosporin antibiotics before parturition, it should be recognized that a positive Coombs’ test may be due to the drug.

Cephalexin should be administered with caution in the presence of markedly impaired renal function. Under such conditions, careful clinical observation and laboratory studies should be made because safe dosage may be lower than that usually recommended.

Indicated surgical procedures should be performed in conjunction with antibiotic therapy.

Broad-spectrum antibiotics should be prescribed with caution in individuals with a history of gastrointestinal disease, particularly colitis.

Cephalosporins may be associated with a fall in prothrombin activity. Those at risk include patients with renal or hepatic impairment, or poor nutritional state, as well as patients receiving a protracted course of antimicrobial therapy, and patients previously stabilized on anticoagulant therapy. Prothrombin time should be monitored in patients at risk and exogenous vitamin K administered as indicated.

Information for Patients

This product contains FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) which may cause allergic-type reactions (including bronchial asthma) in certain susceptible persons. Although the overall incidence of FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) sensitivity in the general population is low, it is frequently seen in patients who also have aspirin hypersensitivity.

Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs including Cephalexin Capsules should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When Cephalexin Capsules are prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by Cephalexin Capsules or other antibacterial drugs in the future.

Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibiotic. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible.

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