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Augmentin - Amoxicillin and Clavulanic Acid

Published on Jul 19, 2021   -  7 min read

Abstract

This combination, Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid, is used to treat various bacterial infections. Read about its uses, dosage, side effects, drug warnings, interactions, precautions, and more.

Contents

Overview:

Amoxicillin is a Penicillin-type antibiotic that is effective against various bacteria, such as Streptococci, Haemophilus influenzae, Pneumococci, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococci (some strains). Amoxicillin, Penicillin, and Ampicillin are all chemically related compounds. This antibiotic inhibits bacteria from multiplying by preventing the formation of their cell membrane. Cell membranes protect bacteria from the harmful environment and help keep the cell content together, without which bacteria cannot survive. The addition of Clavulanic acid is to enhance the effectiveness of Amoxicillin against Amoxicillin-resistant bacteria. Amoxicillin and other antibiotics are only used to treat bacterial infections and not viral infections, such as colds, flu, etc. Augmentin is the most common brand available for Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid combination.

Drug Group:

Amoxicillin belongs to the group of drugs called penicillin-like antibiotics. Nafcillin, Ampicillin, Dicloxacillin, and Piperacillin are some examples of other penicillin-like medicines. All these antibiotics are used in the treatment of various bacterial infections. Clavulanic acid belongs to the class of medications called beta-lactamase inhibitors. They are a family of enzymes that break the beta-lactam ring around resistant bacteria and allow antibiotics to kill them. Examples of other beta-lactamase inhibitors are Tebipenem, Tazobactam, and Sulbactam.

What Is the Amoxicillin and Clavulanic Acid Combination Used For?

Take antibiotics only if a doctor prescribed it and never self-medicate. If you are not sure that your symptoms are caused by a bacterial infection, do not take any antibiotics. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics will result in the development of drug-resistant bacteria, which can be challenging to treat. To prevent this and maintain the effectiveness of Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid, and other antibiotics, only use them to treat infections that have been diagnosed or strongly suspected to be caused by bacteria. Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid combination can be used for:

  1. Lower respiratory tract infections, such as bronchitis, tuberculosis, pneumonia, etc., are caused by bacteria Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis.

  2. Ear infection (otitis media) caused by bacteria Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis.

  3. Throat infections, such as tonsillitis and pharyngitis.

  4. Urinary tract infections like kidney (pyelonephritis) and bladder (cystitis) infections caused by Escherichia coli, Klebsiella species, and Enterobacter species.

  5. Sinusitis, infection of the nose and nasal chambers, caused by Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis.

  6. Prostatitis (infection of the prostate gland).

  7. Bone and joint infection.

  8. Skin infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella species, and Escherichia coli.

  9. Dental infections.

If the susceptibility test shows bacteria to be susceptible to pure Amoxicillin, then it is best to prescribe a tablet containing only Amoxicillin and not in combination with Clavulanic acid.

How Does This Combination Work?

Penicillin and similar antibiotics inhibit the transfer of a peptide group during the transpeptidation process, a process through which the bacterial cell wall is synthesized. Amoxicillin prevents bacteria from building cell walls, which kills them.

When bacteria are resistant to Amoxicillin, they have beta-lactam rings in the core structure, which produces the enzyme beta-lactamase. This enzyme acts on Amoxicillin and makes it ineffective. The addition of Clavulanic acid is for the beta-lactamase inhibitor action. It binds to the beta-lactamase enzyme and inhibits it from metabolizing the antibiotic.

Onset Of Action:

The Amoxicillin and Clavulanic combination start working against bacterial infections within hours of taking it. But, it might take some days for you to start noticing improvements in your symptoms.

Habit-Forming:

There have been no reports of the habit-forming tendency in people taking this combination.

Expiry Date:

Avoid taking this medicine after it expires. Look for the expiry date on the back of the pack.

What Is the Dosage?

The antibiotic dosage will be decided by your doctor based on your age, weight, severity of infection, and other medical conditions. You will first be started on a low dosage, and depending on how your body reacts, the dosage will be modified. The oral tablet form of Augmentin (Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid combination) is available in 200 mg and 28.5 mg, 400 mg and 57 mg, 250 mg and 62.5 mg, 250 mg and 125 mg, 500 mg and 125 mg, 875 mg and 125 mg, and various other strengths.

Adult Dosage:

Adult Dosage

Child Dosage:

Child Dosage

For patients with liver and kidney problems, the dosage needs to be adjusted by your doctor, and regular renal and hepatic functions have to be monitored.

Overdose:

Consuming too much Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid combination pills can result in severe side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, kidney damage, liver damage, and dizziness.

How to Use Augmentin?

Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid combination drugs are available as tablets, chewable tablets, and oral suspension. This combination is usually taken with a meal or a snack every 8 or 12 hours. The chances of missing a dose can be reduced by taking medicine at the same time every day, as it will help you remember. Make sure you follow the directions present on the prescription label or as advised by the doctor or pharmacist. Always take Amoxicillin and all other antibiotics for the prescribed duration. Avoid crushing or chewing tablets unless it is a chewable tablet. Remember to shake the oral suspension liquid well before each use. Do not stop the medicine without completing the course, even if you feel better after taking a couple of doses. The infection can recur, and bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics.

Missed Dose:

If you miss a dose or did not remember to take the drug on time, the drug's effectiveness might reduce or stop working altogether. At all times, a certain level of this drug must be present in your body for it to work well. In case you missed taking a dose, do not double the next dose. Instead, just skip the missed dose and take the next dosage.

What Are the Drug Warnings and Precautions?

Inform your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:

  1. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding - Unless necessary, the use of Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women. The doctor will weigh the potential benefits and the risk involved before prescribing this drug.

  2. Mononucleosis - Mononucleosis, an infection caused by the Epstein Barr virus (EBV), can result in similar symptoms to the cold and flu. If taken by someone who has Mononucleosis, Amoxicillin can result in rashes and bumps on the skin.

  3. Allergic Reaction - If you are already allergic to antibiotics, please inform the doctor, as this combination can also cause moderate to severe allergic reactions.

  4. Liver Problems - This combination should be used with caution in patients with liver disease or impaired liver function. If it is absolutely necessary to take this medicine, then the liver enzyme levels must be monitored at regular intervals.

  5. Diarrhea - Diarrhea is a probable side effect of this combination. Some people might experience mild symptoms, while in elderly and chronically ill patients, this antibiotic can result in a condition called Clostridium Difficile-Associated Diarrhea (CDAD), which can be fatal.

  6. Drug Resistance - Never take or prescribe this medicine if there is insufficient proof or suspicion of a bacterial infection. Indiscriminate dosing can increase the risk of bacteria getting drug-resistant.

What Are the Side Effects?

The common side effects of Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid combination are:

These symptoms are usually mild and most usually go away in a few days. If it does not, consult a doctor immediately.

The severe side effects include:

In children, apart from the side effects listed above, tooth discoloration can also occur. This combination can result in brown or yellow teeth stains.

In case you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately. Amoxicillin can also result in other side effects that are not listed here, so always consult a doctor if you notice any disturbing symptoms.

What Are the Interactions?

It is natural for all drugs to interact with other drugs, food, and supplements. This interaction can result in certain unwanted side effects. The common interactions of Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid combination are,

1) With Medicines:

2) With Diseases:

3) With Alcohol:

4) With Lab Tests:

What Are the Substitutes for Augmentin?

This combination is available in various brand names. The common brand names include:

  1. Acuclav.

  2. Clavam.

  3. Advent.

  4. Asclav.

  5. Bactoclav.

  6. Clavx.

  7. Moxikind-CV.

Please talk to a doctor online if you have any doubts about Augmentin. Avoid self-medication.

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Last reviewed at:
19 Jul 2021  -  7 min read

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