Compare Keflex vs. Penicillin

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

Keflex
(cephalexin)

Penicillin Vk
(penicillin)

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.Kills bacteria. Penicillin Vk (Penicillin) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as a generic. You may need to use another form of birth control along with your birth control pills. It's also best taken on an empty stomach but it can cause an upset stomach.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.08Keflex
Reviews for Keflex (cephalexin)
64%
of people (All ages) say Keflex (cephalexin) is worth it
48%
say it works well
14%
say it's a big hassle
686 reviews
Have you used Keflex (cephalexin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Penicillin Vk (penicillin)
71%
+7% better vs. Keflex (cephalexin)
52%
+4% better vs. Keflex (cephalexin)
12%
+2% better vs. Keflex (cephalexin)
1297 reviews
Have you used Penicillin Vk (penicillin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
KeflexPenicillin

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

More about Keflex side effects »

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

More about Penicillin side effects »
How it works
KeflexPenicillin
Keflex (Cephalexin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from making their own protective covering.Penicillin Vk (Penicillin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from making their own protective covering.
Type of medication
KeflexPenicillin
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
KeflexPenicillin
  • Pill
  • Powder for oral suspension
  • Pill
Used for
KeflexPenicillin
Risk factors for serious side effects
KeflexPenicillin
    Detailed Keflex (cephalexin) risks & warnings »
        • Prior severe allergic reaction to Penicillin Vk (Penicillin)
        Detailed Penicillin Vk (penicillin) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy

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

        The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

        Food
        KeflexPenicillin
        • 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.
        No food related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        KeflexPenicillin
        • 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.
        • Available in generic.
        • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule and suspension.
        • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
        Downsides and risks
        KeflexPenicillin
        • 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.
        • Many bacteria have developed resistance. Your doctor may run tests to see if Penicillin will work on your infection.
        • Can make birth control pills less effective.
        • Best taken on an empty stomach, but can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        KeflexPenicillin
        • 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.
        • Take this medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
        • If you're taking birth control pills, this medication can make them less effective.
        • Try to take it on an empty stomach. If this gives you an upset stomach, take it with food.
        • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
        Learn more
        More about KeflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Keflex (cephalexin)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about PenicillinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Penicillin Vk (penicillin)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it