Drug and Supplements


Written by Dr. K Sneha and medically reviewed by C Elanchezhian

Image: Amoxicillin


Amoxicillin is a penicillin-type antibiotic used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections. It is a broad-spectrum semisynthetic antibiotic similar to Ampicillin, except the resistance to gastric acids. This medicine works by killing and preventing the growth of bacteria. It only works on infections caused by bacteria and not viral infections like cold and flu. It is also used with other medications like Clarithromycin and Lansoprazole to treat H.pylori infection. Amoxicillin is commonly prescribed with Clavulanic acid (a beta-lactamase inhibitor), as it is susceptible to beta-lactamase degradation.

Always use Amoxicillin or any other antibiotic only when your doctor prescribes it. Indiscriminate use and using it when you do not have a bacterial infection decreases the effectiveness of the medicine when you actually need it.

What Is Amoxicillin Used For?

This medicine is used to treat the following bacterial infections:

How to Use Amoxicillin?

Take antibiotics or any other medicine only if your healthcare provider prescribes them. Avoid buying over-the-counter medicines and self-medication. Take the tablet for as many days prescribed by your doctor, even if your symptoms have reduced. Stopping the antibiotic without finishing the course might increase the risk of the bacteria developing a resistance to the antibiotic, and the infection could recur.

Amoxicillin is available as:

  • A dry tablet or capsule - Tablets and capsules should be taken with water.

  • A chewable tablet - Chewable tablets should be properly and completely chewed before swallowing.

  • A suspension - Oral suspensions have to be mixed with water before consuming them.

  • Syrup - The syrup bottle should be shaken properly before taking. Shaking distributes the medicine evenly throughout the liquid.

What Is the Dosage of Amoxicillin?

The strength and duration of this medicine will be different for different patients, as it depends on the severity of the infection. The average doses used for a bacterial infection are:

  • Adult - 250 to 500 mg every 8 hours or 500 to 875 mg every 12 hours.

  • Children - 20 to 40 mg/kg per day.

  • Infants 3 months or younger - 30 mg/kg per day.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose of Amoxicillin?

Depending on the severity of infection, Amoxicillin is generally taken twice or thrice a day, that is every 12 or 8 hours. If you somehow miss a tablet, then take it as soon as you remember. But if it is almost time for the next dose, then skip the missed tablet, and never take a double dose.

What Are the Common Side Effects of Amoxicillin?

Some of the common side effects of Amoxicillin are:

  • Severe allergic reaction to penicillin (Anaphylactic shock).

  • Skin rashes or hives.

  • Seizures.

  • Dark-colored or bloody urine.

  • Yellowish discoloration of eyes and skin.

  • Easy bruising.

  • Unusual bleeding.

  • Tiredness.

  • Diarrhea.

  • Swelling around the eyes.

  • Clay-colored stools.

  • Stomach cramps.

  • Fungal infections like candidiasis.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction?

The signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to Amoxicillin are:

And the signs of anaphylaxis are:

  • Difficulty breathing.

  • Nausea or abdominal cramps.

  • Dizziness.

  • Weak and rapid pulse.

  • Seizures.

  • Loss of consciousness.

  • Low blood pressure.

As soon as you notice signs of an allergic reaction, do not take more Amoxicillin and consult your physician immediately. A severe allergic reaction can also be fatal.

What Are the Drugs That Amoxicillin Can Interact With?

When a doctor prescribes Amoxicillin, always inform him or her about all the medicines that you are currently taking for any other illness. This will help the doctor analyze if it is safe to prescribe this antibiotic, and will prevent unwanted drug interactions.

Amoxicillin might increase or reduce the effectiveness of other drugs that you might be taking or increase the risk of side effects by reducing the excretion of the drug. Some of the drug interactions to look out for are:

  • Anticoagulant drugs (Warfarin, Heparin).

  • Antibiotics (Tetracycline, Sulfonamides, Chloramphenicol).

  • Chemotherapy (Methotrexate).

  • Muscle relaxants (Carisoprodol, Cyclobenzaprine).

  • Cholera vaccine.

  • Birth control pills.

  • Gout treatment (Allopurinol).

Amoxicillin use could lead to false positive results in urine glucose tests.

Does Amoxicillin Reduce the Effectiveness of Birth Control Measures?

Yes, Amoxicillin reduces the effectiveness of all birth control methods like birth control pills, vaginal rings, patches, etc. So, during the course of the antibiotic treatment, use barrier birth control methods like condoms.

For more information on the uses and side effects of Amoxicillin, consult a doctor online through phone or real-time video consultation.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does Amoxicillin treat?

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections of the ear, nose, throat, skin, genitourinary tract, respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal tract. Some of the common infections that can be treated are ear infectiosn, bronchitis, gonorrhea, Lyme disease, tonsillitis, and pneumonia


2. How long does Amoxicillin stay in your system?

The half-life, that is the duration of action of a drug, of Amoxicillin is 61.3 minutes. Around 60 % of medicine taken orally is excreted in the urine within 6 to 8 hours. It can be detected in the blood for up to 8 hours


3. What do Amoxicillin and Clavulanate treat?

The combination of Amoxicillin and Clavulanate is used to treat various bacterial infections. Clavulanate is a beta-lactamase inhibitor, which works by preventing bacteria from destroying Amoxicillin. And Amoxicillin stops the growth of bacteria


4. How long does it take for Amoxicillin to work?

You might feel better in a couple of days after starting Amoxicillin. Do not stop taking the medicine before the prescribed number of days. It is usually prescribed for 7 to 14 days


5. How long can Amoxicillin be taken?

Always take any medicine only if prescribed by a healthcare professional. Depending on the severity of the infection, Amoxicillin is prescribed for 7 to 14 days. If your doctor feels that you need to take it longer, he or she will prescribe it. Never self-medicate

Last reviewed at: 08.Jun.2019



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