Compare Doxycycline vs. Keflex

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Vibramycin
(doxycycline)

Keflex
(cephalexin)

Treats bacterial infections. Vibramycin (Doxycycline) is good for treating many bacterial infections. It is also available as generic. However, it can make birth control pills less effective. You also have to protect yourself against sunburn.Kills bacteria. Keflex (Cephalexin) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as generic. However, if you are on medications to thin your blood, you can be more likely to bleed.
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Reviews & ratings
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4.27Doxycycline
Reviews for Vibramycin (doxycycline)
49%
of people (All ages) say Vibramycin (doxycycline) is worth it
36%
say it works well
24%
say it's a big hassle
112 reviews
Have you used Vibramycin (doxycycline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Keflex (cephalexin)
64%
+15% better vs. Vibramycin (doxycycline)
48%
+12% better vs. Vibramycin (doxycycline)
14%
+10% better vs. Vibramycin (doxycycline)
686 reviews
Have you used Keflex (cephalexin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
DoxycyclineKeflex
  • Any adverse event 40%
  • Nausea 13%
  • Vomiting 8%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Bacterial vaginitis 3%
  • Headache 2%
  • Upper abdominal pain 2%
  • Vaginal yeast infection 2%
More Doxycycline side effects »

The Keflex FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Keflex side effects »
How it works
DoxycyclineKeflex
Vibramycin (Doxycycline) is a tetracycline antibiotic. It stops bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.Keflex (Cephalexin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from making their own protective covering.
Type of medication
DoxycyclineKeflex
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
DoxycyclineKeflex
  • Pill
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Powder for oral suspension
Used for
DoxycyclineKeflex
Risk factors for serious side effects
DoxycyclineKeflex
  • Age 8 years or younger
  • Using oral birth control pills
  • Long antibiotic treatment period
      • Women of childbearing age
      • Women of childbearing age
      • Overweight or obese
      • Taking isotretinoin (Accutane)
      Detailed Vibramycin (doxycycline) risks & warnings »
        Detailed Keflex (cephalexin) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy

        Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

        Food
        DoxycyclineKeflex
        No food related info.
        • Can be taken with or without food.
        • If you're on blood thinners (anticoagulants), talk to your doctor, it may make you more likely to bleed.
        Upsides and benefits
        DoxycyclineKeflex
        • Available in generic.
        • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
        • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
        • Less resistance seen in bacteria to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see which antibiotics will kill the bacteria causing your infection.
        • Available in generic.
        • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
        • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
        • Less resistance seen in bacteria to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see which antibiotics will kill the bacteria causing your infection.
        • Can be taken with or without food.
        Downsides and risks
        DoxycyclineKeflex
        • Can't be used in pregnant women and children under 8 years old.
        • Makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.
        • Has to be taken with plenty of water and food and you have to stay upright for 30 minutes afterwards to avoid stomach irritation.
        • Can make birth control less effective.
        • Can cause diarrhea.
        • If you're on blood thinners (anticoagulants), talk to your doctor, it may make you more likely to bleed.
        • If you have to take any live vaccines, talk to your doctor. You may have to postpone it.
        • Can cause diarrhea.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        DoxycyclineKeflex
        • Take the medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
        • If you're using birth control pills, this medication can make them less effective.
        • Wear sunblock if you have to go out into the sun since your skin can become more sensitive to sunburn.
        • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
        • Space out any vitamins by at least two hours.
        • Take with plenty of food and liquids.
        • Don't take any medications with bismuth (Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate) while taking this medication.
        • Don't lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking this medication.
        • Take this medication exactly as your doctor tells you to.
        • Store the suspension in the refrigerator. All other forms can be kept at room temperature.
        • Space out vitamins by a couple hours if you're taking this medication.
        Learn more
        More about DoxycyclineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Vibramycin (doxycycline)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about KeflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Keflex (cephalexin)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it