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 RANCEF against the benefits it 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 RANCEF is used for

RANCEF capsules contain cephalexin. Cephalexin is an antibiotic used to treat infections in different parts of the body caused by bacteria. RANCEF 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)

RANCEF capsules belong 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 RANCEF for another reason. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why RANCEF has been prescribed for you.

Cephalexin Capsules are available only with a doctor’s prescription.

Before taking RANCEF

When you must not take it

Do not take RANCEF if:

  • You have had an allergic reaction to RANCEF, 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 to penicillin.
  • 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 RANCEF is addictive.

Before you start to take it

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

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 RANCEF, 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 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 RANCEF.

Taking other Medicines

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.

Some medicines and RANCEF may interfere with each other e.g.

  • probenecid, a medicine commonly used to treat gout
  • sulfinpyrazone, another medicine used to treat gout
  • metformin, a medicine used in the treatment of diabetes
  • aminoglycoside antibiotics such as amikacin, gentamicin, kanamycin .etc.
  • heparin, warfarin, coumarin or other blood thinning medicines
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), medicines used to relieve pain, swelling and other symptoms of inflammation, including arthritis (e.g.. aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen .etc.)
  • antacids, medicines used to treat heartburn and indigestion

These medicines may be affected by RANCEF, or may affect how well it works. You may need to be given different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to be given different medicines. Your doctor will advise you.

Your doctor or health care professional may have more information on medicines to be careful with or to avoid while being given RANCEF.

How RANCEF is given

How much to take

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

How to take it

RANCEF capsules should be swallowed whole with a glass of water.

When to take it

RANCEF can be taken with or without food.

How long do I take it

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

Keep taking RANCEF 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

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 RANCEF capsules. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.

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

While you are taking RANCEF

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 RANCEF 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 RANCEF, tell your doctor.

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

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

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

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

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

Things you must not do

Do not stop taking RANCEF capsules 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 RANCEF to anyone else, even if their symptoms are similar to yours.

Do not take RANCEF 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 RANCEF affects you. RANCEF generally do not cause any problems with your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. RANCEF 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 RANCEF.

Like other medicines, RANCEF 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 RANCEF

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
  • Indigestion/ flatulence
  • Dizziness
  • Unusual tiredness/weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache

These are the most common side effects of RANCEF 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
  • Confusion and hallucinations
  • Bleeding or bruising more easily than normal
  • Change in the color and/ or amount of urine.

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

  • 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 it


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 25°C.

All medicines should be kept where young children cannot reach them. 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 RANCEF capsules 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 it looks like

  • RANCEF 250 mg capsules are green and white, imprinted with RX656. Available in blister packs of 20.
  • RANCEF 500 mg capsules are dark green and light green, imprinted with RX657. Available in blister packs of 20.


Active Ingredient:

Inactive Ingredients:
Lactose, magnesium stearate, gelatin, iron oxide yellow, titanium dioxide, Brilliant Blue FCF and Sunset Yellow FCF. The printing ink contains shellac, absolute ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, butan-1-ol, propylene glycol, ammonia, iron oxide black, potassium hydroxide and purified water.

Australian Registration Numbers

  • RANCEF 250 mg: AUST R 116866
  • RANCEF 500 mg: AUST R 116868


Ranbaxy Australia Pty Ltd
Suite 4.02, Level 4, Building D
12 – 24 Talavera Road
North Ryde, NSW 2113

This leaflet was prepared in September 2011.

Published by MIMS January 2013