Can Keflex (Cephalexin) Capsules Be Opened?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not Keflex (cephalexin) capsules can be opened.

Question

I have trouble swallowing capsules. Can I break the cephalexin capsule 500mg and pour it into a drink or something?

Asked by Myrline On May 27, 2022

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published May 27, 2022
Last updated May 27, 2022

Key points

  • Keflex (cephalexin) capsules can be opened and sprinkled onto food, but the powder has a very bitter taste.
  • If you cannot swallow Keflex capsules, the suspension may be a better option for you.

Keflex (cephalexin) capsules can be opened and sprinkled onto food for easy administration if you are having problems swallowing the capsules intact.

It is not recommended, however, to mix the contents of the capsule with a large volume of liquid.

Mixing the contents of Keflex (cephalexin) with liquid has several disadvantages including:

  • Unpalatable taste (it's very bitter!)
  • The insolubility of the medication
  • Inconsistent dosing

Not only will mixing Keflex (cephalexin) in liquid make it difficult to take based on taste alone, the powder is not soluble, meaning much of it will aggregate at the bottom of the liquid mixture, potentially resulting in you not consuming the entire dose (especially if it is not mixed well).

Instead, it is recommended to open the capsules and sprinkle the contents on a small amount of food such as applesauce, and immediately consume.

Alternatively, you can empty the capsules in a small amount of viscous liquid like chocolate syrup or honey.

Lastly, when removing the powder from the Keflex (cephalexin) capsules, it is important to try and not break the capsule, but instead open it by removing one-half of the capsule (top or bottom). Physically breaking the capsule can result in sharp fragments which are potentially irritating if consumed.

References

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 11 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication related questions!

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