Can You Drink Lemonade With Cephalexin?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses if it is safe to take cephalexin with a glass of lemonade.

Question

Can I drink lemonade taking cephalexin?

Asked by Gret On May 28, 2021

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published May 28, 2021
Last updated Jun 14, 2024

Key points

  • There are no known drug interactions between lemonade and cephalexin.
  • Cephalexin has very few food interactions, the only significant interaction is with large amounts of zinc.

Hi Gret and thank you for reaching out to us.

Food interactions are sometimes present with antibiotics so I am always happy to make sure that we are avoiding drug interactions whenever possible. 

What Is Cephalexin?

First, cephalexin is a first generation cephalosporin. It is commonly used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections, but most often used for skin or ear infections. The good news is that cephalexin is a drug that I usually don’t worry too much about when it comes to foods or drinks as there a few interactions there.

Safe With Lemonade?

There is not any known drug interaction between cephalexin and lemonade. The only known drug interaction with cephalexin and food is food that contains significant amounts of zinc.

Zinc seems to bind to and decrease the absorption of cephalexin. Lemons don’t really contain any significant amount of zinc.

There might be a fortified version of a lemonade that has added zinc, but I wasn’t able to find any. If you take a multivitamin that contains zinc, you might want to stop it for a few days until your course of cephalexin is finished.

Likewise, if you take zinc supplements or zinc cough drops, it might be a good idea to stop for a few days. However, unless you have a lemonade that is fortified with zinc, it seems like it would be safe to have a glass with your cephalexin.

Cephalexin is safe to take with or without food.

Food is thought to delay and slow the absorption, so drug concentrations might not reach quite as high as taken on an empty stomach, but this probably isn’t clinically relevant. The same amount of total drug is still absorbed.

Thanks for reaching out to us and I hope this helps.

References

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 13 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical, program development, and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Dr. Brian Staiger also has herbalist training and educational certificates in the field of medical ethnobotany. Feel free to send him an email at [email protected]! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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