Alcohol doesn’t interact with cephalexin, but it may enhance certain side effects, like drowsiness and nausea. Alcohol may also impact your body’s natural healing process.

Cephalexin is an antibiotic. It belongs to a group of antibiotics called cephalosporin antibiotics, which treat different types of bacterial infections. These include ear infections, respiratory tract infections, and skin infections. Cephalexin treats bacterial infections such as urinary tract infections (UTIs). This drug does not interact with alcohol, but some of its side effects are similar to the effects of alcohol. Also, alcohol may interfere with your infection itself.

Alcohol doesn’t reduce the effectiveness of cephalexin. Information included on the package insert for cephalexin doesn’t state that alcohol interacts with this drug, either.

However, some of the more common side effects of this drug are similar to some of the more bothersome effects of alcohol, such as dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea. Drinking while you take this drug can increase these effects. If that does happen, it may be best to hold off on drinking alcohol until you have finished treatment. You may even choose to wait to drink until a few days after you’ve stopped taking cephalexin. This can help make sure no more of the drug is in your body.

Read more: Cephalexin (Keflex) for treating a UTI »

Drinking can also have a direct effect on infections such as UTIs. Drinking alcohol may decrease your body’s ability to fight your urinary tract infection and increase the time it takes you to recover. Drinking could also make you more prone to getting a new infection.

Read more: Effects of alcohol on healing from infection »

An interaction between cephalexin and alcohol has not been proved. Still, avoiding alcohol while you take this drug may be a good idea. Alcohol may decrease your body’s ability to fight your UTI. It’s important to talk to your doctor, who knows your medical history. Only they can tell you how drinking alcohol while taking cephalexin might specifically affect you.