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.
Amoxicillin can be used by a doctor to treat the following conditions:
Chest Infections (E.g. Pneumonia)
Ear Infections like Otitis Media
Helicobacter Pylori Infection
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:
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.
Oral tablets can be swallowed with some water. It is also available as chewable tablets.
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.
It should be preferably taken with food.
Amoxicillin is usually prescribed based on body weight
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.
Drink plenty of fluids when on Amoxicillin medication.
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.
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.
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
Weakness or tiredness
Redness of the eyes
Shortness of breath
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.
Before taking amoxicillin, inform your doctor if :
you are allergic to penicillin antibiotics or cephalosporin antibiotics.
you currently suffer from or have had the following medical conditions:
3. about any medications that you may currently take including vitamin and herbal supplements.
4 you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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.
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.
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.
Amoxicillin should not be taken with the following drugs:
Blood thinners or anticoagulants
You can consult the doctor if it is necessary to take these or other medications with Amoxicillin. They will provide you with an alternative.
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.
Comparing Amoxicillin with Metronidazole
Bacterial and other infections
Bacterial and Parasitic infections
37 Known drugs interact with it
331 known drugs interact with it
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.