Consumer medicine information



cephalexin 250 mg & 500 mg capsules

Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet

This leaflet is designed to provide you with answers to some common questions about this medicine. It does not contain all the available information.

All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking CILEX against the benefits the medicine is expected to have for you.

If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep this leaflet with this medicine. You may need to read it again.

What CILEX is used for

CILEX contains cephalexin. Cephalexin is an antibiotic used to treat infections in different parts of the body caused by bacteria. CILEX can be used to treat infections of the:

  • Respiratory tract (throat, tonsils, chest and lungs)
  • Nose (sinusitis)
  • Ears (otitis media)
  • Skin
  • Kidneys and bladder (genitourinary tract)

CILEX belongs to a group of antibiotic medicines called cephalosporins. These antibiotics work by killing the bacteria that are causing your infection.

Your doctor may have prescribed CILEX for another reason. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why CILEX has been prescribed for you.

CILEX is available only with a doctor’s prescription.

Before taking CILEX

When you must not take CILEX

Do not take CILEX if:

  • You have had an allergic reaction to CILEX, any other medicine containing cephalexin, or other cephalosporins or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet. Signs of an allergic reaction may include itching of the skin, shortness of breath and swelling of the tongue or face.
  • You have had a serious allergic reaction (Anaphylaxis) to penicillin, penicillin derivatives, penicillamine or any other medicines.
  • The packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
  • The expiry date on the pack has passed. If you take this medicine after the expiry date has passed, it may have no effect at all, or worse, an unexpected effect.

There is no evidence that CILEX is addictive.

Before you start to take CILEX

Your doctor must know about all the following before you start to take CILEX.

You must tell your doctor if:

  • You have had any type of allergic reaction to any medicine containing a penicillin antibiotic, or any other antibiotic. You may have an increased chance of being allergic to CILEX, any other medicines containing cephalexin or other cephalosporins, or if you are allergic to penicillins.
  • You are taking any metformin medicines (oral blood glucose lowering drugs) such as Diabex™, Glucophage™.
  • You have any allergies to any other medicines or any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes.
  • You are taking any other medicines including any that you have bought from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
  • You have ever had liver, kidney or bowel disease.
  • You have a history of colitis, bleeding disorder or carnitine deficiency.
  • You are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.
  • You are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

If you have not told your doctor about any of these things, tell him/her before you start taking CILEX.

How to take CILEX

How much to take

Your doctor will tell you how much and how often you should take CILEX. This will depend on the type of infection. The dose varies from patient to patient.

How to take it

CILEX should be swallowed whole with a glass of water.

When to take it

CILEX can be taken with or without food.

How long do I take it

Continue taking CILEX until you finish the blister pack or for as long as your doctor tells you.

Keep taking CILEX for the full time of treatment, even if you begin to feel better after a few days. If you do not complete the full course prescribed by your doctor, your infection may not clear completely or your symptoms may return.

If you forget a dose

If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take a dose as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your capsules as you would normally.

Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.

If you take too much (overdose)

Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26) for advice, or go to your nearest hospital casualty department if you think you or anyone else has taken too many CILEX Capsules. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.

If you take too many CILEX Capsules, you may feel sick in the stomach or experience diarrhoea.

While you are using CILEX

Things you must do

If you get severe diarrhoea tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse immediately. Do this even if it occurs several weeks after CILEX has been stopped. Diarrhoea may mean that you have a serious condition affecting your bowel. You may need urgent medical care. Do not take diarrhoea medicine without first checking with your doctor.

If you become pregnant while you are taking CILEX, tell your doctor.

If you are about to start taking any new medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking CILEX.

If you have to test your urine for sugar while you are taking CILEX, make sure that your doctor knows about the type of test you use. CILEX may affect the results of some of these tests.

If you have to have any blood tests, tell your doctor you are taking CILEX because CILEX may affect the results of some of these tests.

Tell all doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking CILEX.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start any new medicine while you are taking CILEX.

Things you must not do

Do not stop taking CILEX or lower the dose because you are feeling better, unless advised by your doctor. If you do not complete the full course prescribed by your doctor, your infection may not clear completely or your symptoms may return.

Do not give CILEX to anyone else, even if their symptoms are similar to yours.

Do not take CILEX to treat other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.

Things to be careful of

Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how CILEX affect you. CILEX generally does not cause any problems with your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. CILEX may cause dizziness or drowsiness in some people.

Side effects

Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking CILEX. Like other medicines, CILEX can cause some side effects. If they occur, most are likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious and need medical attention. Many of the side effects are dose related, so it is important you never exceed the stated dose.

While you are taking CILEX

Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:

  • Sore or white mouth or tongue (oral thrush)
  • Sore and itchy vagina and/or discharge (another form of thrush)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness/tiredness

These are the most common side effects of CILEX Capsules.

Tell your doctor immediately or go to casualty at your hospital if you notice any of the following:

  • Severe, watery or bloody diarrhoea
  • Severe body rash
  • Swelling of the tongue or face which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing
  • Fever
  • Swelling of the joints
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes

After finishing CILEX

Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following side effects, particularly if they occur several weeks after stopping treatment with CILEX:

  • Severe stomach cramps or pain
  • Severe, watery or bloody diarrhoea
  • Fever, in combination with one of the above.

These are rare but serious side effects. You may have a serious condition affecting your bowel. You may need urgent medical attention.

Do not take any diarrhoea medicine without first checking with your doctor.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people. Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them. Tell your doctor if you notice any symptoms that worry you, even if you think the problems are not connected with the medicine or are not listed in this leaflet.

After using CILEX


Keep your capsules in the blister pack until it is time to take them. If you take your capsules out of the blister pack, they may not keep as well.

Keep your capsules in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C.

Do not store CILEX or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it in the car or on window sills. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.

Keep medicines where young children cannot reach them. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.

There will be an expiry date (month, year) on the outer box and imprinted on the end of each blister strip. The medicine should not be taken after this date.


If your doctor tells you to stop taking CILEX or you find that they have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any capsules that are left over.

Product Description

What CILEX looks like:

CILEX capsules are available in two strengths:

  • CILEX 250 mg capsules have a dark green cap imprinted with “250” in black ink and a white body and are available in packs of 20.
  • CILEX 500 mg capsules have a dark green cap imprinted with “500” in black ink and a light green body and are available in packs of 20.


Active Ingredient:

Inactive ingredients:

  • microcrystalline cellulose
  • magnesium stearate

Excipients: (capsule shells)

  • gelatin
  • sodium lauryl sulphate
  • titanium dioxide
  • Patent Blue (E131)
  • Quinoline Yellow
  • Sunset Yellow
  • black ink


Ascent Pharma Pty Ltd
151-153 Clarendon St
South Melbourne VIC 3205
For further information call 1800 554 414

Cilex 250 mg – AUST R 144109
Cilex 500 mg – AUST R 144110

This leaflet was prepared on 17 May 2010.

Published by MIMS September 2014