Amoxicillin : Uses, Side Effects, Dosage, Precautions & More



Amoxicillin is a penicillin-based antibiotic (amino-penicillin) that helps fight bacterial infections. It is one of the most widely used antibiotics in the primary care setting and works against a wide variety of gram-positive bacteria and some gram-negative bacteria as well.

It is effective only against bacterial infections and not viral diseases. It is often prescribed for patients with chest infections or ear infections. Amoxicillin is not an over-the-counter medicine and can be bought only with a doctor’s prescription.

Uses of Amoxicillin

Amoxicillin can be used by a doctor to treat the following conditions:

  • Bacterial Pharyngitis

  • Bacterial sinusitis

  • Bronchiectasis

  • Bronchitis-Tonsillitis

  • Chest Infections (E.g. Pneumonia)

  • Dental Abscesses

  • Ear Infections like Otitis Media

  • Helicobacter Pylori Infection

  • Lyme Disease

  • Nose Infections

  • Skin Infections

  • Stomach/Intestinal ulcers

  • Urinary infections 

How & when to take it?

Amoxicillin is available as an oral medication in the form of capsules, soluble tablets, powdered sachets, and liquid medicine. Amoxicillin injections are also available. 

 The doctor may prescribe different forms of Amoxicillin depending upon the infection and the patient’s condition. Here are a few important points to note regarding amoxicillin:

  1. Always read the leaflet that comes with the medicine to understand its details. For liquid medications for children, follow the dosage. Read the instructions carefully. Oral liquid medications must be shaken well before use.

  2. Oral tablets can be swallowed with some water. It is also available as chewable tablets.

  3. If the doctor has prescribed powdered sachets, they must be dissolved in 10–20 ml (or as per the package instructions) of water and taken immediately.

  4. It should be preferably taken with food.

  5. Amoxicillin is usually prescribed based on body weight

  6. Care must be taken to take the prescribed doses at the same time every day. Doses should be evenly spaced throughout the day. There should be a minimum 4-hour interval in between.

  7. Drink plenty of fluids when on Amoxicillin medication.

  8. Even if the infection appears to subside, complete the full course of treatment prescribed by the doctor. Stopping the medication way too early may cause the bacteria to regrow.

  9. Those who are allergic to penicillin or any other penicillin antibiotic should never take amoxicillin. So, always inform your doctor if you have any allergies.  

What are the Side Effects of Amoxicillin?

All medications may have certain side effects, although not everybody gets them. Minor side effects related to amoxicillin usage are as follows:

  • Blisters on the skin

  • Bloody nose

  • Body pains

  • Breathing problems

  • Chest Pain

  • Diarrhoea

  • Dizziness

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Weakness or tiredness

  • Redness of the eyes

  • Shortness of breath

  • Skin rash

  • Swelling

  • Urination difficulties

  • Vaginal yeast infection

More serious side effects related to amoxicillin usage are allergic reactions like itching or swelling of the face; bloody stool, pale stool or dark urine; yellowing of the skin or eyes; seizures, etc.

Not everyone faces side effects when using amoxicillin, and different patients may exhibit different side effects. If you feel a serious side effect that does not go away after a couple of days, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

What Precautions are to be taken while using Amoxicillin?

Before taking amoxicillin, inform your doctor if :

  1. you are allergic to penicillin antibiotics or cephalosporin antibiotics.

  2. you currently suffer from or have had the following medical conditions:

  • Allergies 

  • Asthma

  • Hay fever

  • Hives

  • Kidney disease
  • Mononucleosis  

  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)

3. about any medications that you may currently take including vitamin and herbal supplements.

4 you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What if you missed a dose?

In case you miss a dose, you must take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is time for the next dose, skip the missed dose. In any case, do not take two doses together to even out the missed dose. Try to complete the dosage that your doctor has prescribed for the day, keeping a minimum of a 4-hour interval between the doses. 

 What if you overdose?

Overdose symptoms may include vomiting, severe diarrhoea, decreased urine output, and even seizures. In the event of an overdose, immediately rush to the nearest hospital. Take the medicine package or bottle with you, even if it is empty.

What are Amoxicillin storage conditions?

Amoxicillin must be stored at room temperature (10–30 degrees Celsius) away from moisture and sunlight. It must be stored out of the reach of children. It can be stored, preferably in a refrigerator (room temperature), but not in the freezer. Unused liquid medication must be thrown away within 14 days.

Caution with other drugs

Amoxicillin should not be taken with the following drugs:

  • Allopurinol

  • Blood thinners or anticoagulants

  • Chloramphenicol

  • Oral contraceptives

  • Macrolides 

  • Probenecid

  • Sulfonamides

  • Tetracycline

You can consult the doctor if it is necessary to take these or other medications with Amoxicillin. They will provide you with an alternative.

How quickly will the tablet show results? 

Amoxicillin is a fast-action antibiotic. It begins to work as soon as it enters the body and can relieve symptoms after 72 hours. However, its action slows down after a few hours of ingestion and hence doctors prescribe multiple doses during the day.

Comparison of Amoxicillin with Metronidazole

Comparing Amoxicillin with Metronidazole 








Bacterial and other infections

Bacterial and Parasitic infections

Forms Available

Oral Capsule

Liquid medicine


Chewable tablets

Extended-release tablets


Intravenous solution

Oral capsule

Oral tablet

Drug interactions 

37 Known drugs interact with it

331 known drugs interact with it

Disease interactions




Renal dysfunction



Blood dyscrasias

Neurologic toxicity


Liver disease



Amoxicillin is a widely used penicillin antibiotic that is often prescribed by doctors to treat a wide range of bacterial infections. You may go through the above-mentioned details about amoxicillin carefully in case you have been prescribed this medicine by a doctor. Being aware of the details and the side effects of any medication is important. Any further queries can be discussed with a healthcare provider.








Disclaimer: The information provided here is not meant to substitute an advice from a healthcare professional. The information is not intended to cover all the possible uses, side-effects, precautions, and drug interactions. This information is not intended to suggest that using a specific drug is suitable, safe, or efficient for you or anyone else. The absence of any information or warning regarding the drug should not be interpreted as an implicit guarantee from the organisation. We strongly advise you to consult a doctor if you have any concerns about the drug and never use the medication without a doctor’s prescription.