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If I'm allergic to keflex antibiotics am I allergic to penicillin?I was put on Keflex...

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bowerk | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 26, 2011 at 5:40 AM via web

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If I'm allergic to keflex antibiotics am I allergic to penicillin?

I was put on Keflex antibiotics and found out that I was severly allergic to it, does that mean I'm allergic to penicillin or any other drugs?

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wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted September 26, 2011 at 8:01 AM (Answer #1)

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Penicillin is part of the group of drugs called bata lactams. It works very similarly to keflex antibiotics. Both types of medication are used to treat bacterial infections and they work similarly in the body. Penicillin is listed in the drug information for keflex antibiotics. It says you should tell your doctor if you are allergic to penicillin before taking keflex drugs. I would assume the same works in reverse. Keflex fits into the group of drugs called cephalosporins. This group differs slightly from bata lactums in its chemical makeup. It is possible that a person might be allergic to one group without having a similar reaction to the other group. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist before you take either category. Remember to always tell your doctor about any allergies to medications.
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lanarn2md | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 27, 2011 at 9:41 AM (Answer #2)

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Keflex (or Cephalexin) is a 1st Generation Cephalosporin. Just as Wannam mentioned, they are Beta-Lactam drugs that inhibit cell wall synthesis, but they are less susceptible to penicillinases.

There is a 5-30% chance that you can have a cross-sensitivity.

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