ATC codes: J01DB01
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with acute exacerbation ICD11 code: CA22.0
Medicine type
Chemical agent
Antibiotic groups
List type
Oral > Liquid: 125 mg per 5 mL (anhydrous) powder for oral liquid ; 250 mg per 5 mL (anhydrous) powder for oral liquid
Oral > Solid: 250 mg (as monohydrate) ; 500 mg (as monohydrate)
EML status history
First added in 2017 (TRS 1006)
Changed in 2021 (TRS 1035)
Adolescents and adults
Therapeutic alternatives
The recommendation is for this specific medicine
Patent information
Patents have expired in most jurisdictions
Expert Committee recommendation
The Expert Committee recommended inclusion of a new, higher strength formulation of cefalexin solid oral dosage form on the core list of the EML for the treatment of exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The Committee noted that the proposed strength formulation is higher than those currently included on the Model List, and is appropriate and aligned to meet recommended doses for treatment of adults, with the advantages of a reduced pill burden.
Summary of evidence
Most adult patients diagnosed with exacerbations of COPD can be successfully treated with cephalexin 500 mg every 12 hours for 5 days. The higher strength formulation will allow for a reduced pill burden to complete a course of treatment compared to the currently listed 250 mg strength formulation, and should facilitate adherence to treatment.
EML recommendations: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with acute exacerbation
First choice
Second choice