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.
This medicine is used to treat the following bacterial infections:
Urinary tract infections.
Helicobacter pylori infection.
To prevent bacterial endocarditis.
To prevent chlamydia during pregnancy.
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.
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.
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.
Some of the common side effects of Amoxicillin are:
Severe allergic reaction to penicillin (Anaphylactic shock).
Skin rashes or hives.
Dark-colored or bloody urine.
Yellowish discoloration of eyes and skin.
Swelling around the eyes.
Fungal infections like candidiasis.
The signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to Amoxicillin are:
And the signs of anaphylaxis are:
Nausea or abdominal cramps.
Weak and rapid pulse.
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.
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).
Muscle relaxants (Carisoprodol, Cyclobenzaprine).
Birth control pills.
Gout treatment (Allopurinol).
Amoxicillin use could lead to false positive results in urine glucose tests.
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.