GENERIC NAME: ampicillin
BRAND NAME: Omnipen (Discontinued brand), Polycillin (Discontinued brand), Principen (Discontinued brand)
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Ampicillin belongs to a class of antibiotics called penicillins that are used for treating bacterial infections. Other members of this class include amoxicillin (Amoxil), piperacillin (Pipracil), ticarcillin (Ticar) and several others. These antibiotics all have a similar mechanism of action. They stop bacteria from multiplying by preventing bacteria from forming the cell walls that surround them. The cell walls are necessary to protect bacteria from their environment and to keep the contents of the bacterial cell together. Most bacteria cannot survive without a cell wall. Penicillins are most effective when bacteria are actively multiplying and forming cell walls. Ampicillin is effective against many bacteria including H. influenzae, N. gonorrhoea, E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella, streptococci and certain strains of staphylococci. Ampicillin was approved by the FDA in 1963.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Capsules: 250 and 500 mg. Powder oral suspension: 125 and 250 mg/5mL. Powder for injection: 250 mg, 500 mg, 1g, and 2 g.
STORAGE: Capsules and powder should be kept at room temperature from 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F). After mixing the powder with water, it can be used for up to seven days if stored at room temperature or 14 days if refrigerated. It must be shaken before each use and should be kept well-sealed.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Ampicillin is used for treating infections of the middle ear, sinuses, stomach and intestines, bladder, and kidney caused by susceptible bacteria. It also is used for treating uncomplicated gonorrhea, meningitis, endocarditis and other serious infections. Because of the increased use of antibiotics, many bacterial strains have become resistant to penicillins; bacteria causing serious infections should be tested for resistance against penicillins and other antibiotics.
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