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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18438
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I have a chest infection and have some left over kefalexin

Resolved Question:

hello i have a chest infection and have some left over kefalexin that i never used a year ago can i use them and what is the dosage i am a 23 year old male
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.

There are several levels of answer to this question.

The most common chest infection in a healthy 23 year old is a viral bronchitis. As with other common viral infections, antibiotics typically will not help with a viral bronchitis, and that would include the Keflex/cephalexin.

It is possible to develop a bacterial infection in the chest, either as a primary infection or as a complication following a viral infection. These are less common than a viral bronchitis, but they can occur. In these situations, the Keflex/cephalexin will usually be effective. The recommended dose for respiratory tract infections is 250 mg four times per day, although higher doses also may be used in someone with a more severe infection.

The fact that the antibiotics are a year old is probably OK. When medicines are dispensed, they will usually assure that they have a year left before they will expire. Actually, when medicines are manufactured, they typically have several years before the expiration date, and medicines that are used frequently will usually have a couple of years before the expiration date, because they typically do not sit on the shelf for very long. We generally advise people to discard medicines after a year, but if these medicines were filled a year ago, the medicines are likely well within date.

Due to the increasing incidence of resistance of germs, we generally try to avoid the use of antibiotics when the most likely cause of an infection is a viral infection, and would prefer to only use antibiotics once there is evidence that it is a bacterial infection or that there is a good chance that it could be a bacterial infection, but that would usually require seeing a doctor.

So, in most cases, the Keflex/cephalexin would not be helpful because no antibiotic will be helpful, but if there is a bacterial infection, then it would usually be helpful and the pills that were obtained a year ago would be OK.

If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.
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