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- What is amoxicillin? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Why are the uses for amoxicillin (what does it treat)?
- What are amoxicillin side effects?
- What is the dosage for amoxicillin?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with amoxicillin?
- Is amoxicillin safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about amoxicillin?
What is amoxicillin? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
- ampicillin (Unasyn),
- piperacillin (Pipracil),
- ticarcillin (Ticar), and
- several others.
These antibiotics all have a similar mechanism of action. They do not directly kill bacteria, but they stop bacteria from multiplying by preventing bacteria from forming the walls that surround them. The walls are necessary to protect bacteria from their environment and to keep the contents of the bacterial cell together. Bacteria cannot survive without a cell wall. Amoxicillin is effective against many different bacteria including H. influenzae, N. gonorrhoea, E. coli, Pneumococci, Streptococci, and certain strains of Staphylococci.
The FDA approved Amoxicillin in December 1974.
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Why are the uses for amoxicillin (what does it treat)?
- Amoxicillin is used to treat infections due to bacteria that are susceptible to the effects of amoxicillin.
- Common bacterial infections that amoxicillin is used for include infections of the
- It also is used to treat gonorrhea.
What are amoxicillin side effects?
Side effects due to amoxicillin include:
- abdominal pain,
- easy bruising,
- rash, and
- allergic reactions.
People who are allergic to the cephalosporin class of antibiotics, which are related to the penicillins, for example, cefaclor (Ceclor), cephalexin (Keflex), and cefprozil (Cefzil), may or may not be allergic to penicillins.
Serious but rare reactions include:
- severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), and
- low platelet (thrombocytopenia) or red blood cell count.
Amoxicillin can alter the normal bacteria in the colon and encourage overgrowth of some bacteria such as Clostridium difficile which causes inflammation of the colon (pseudomembranous colitis). Patients who develop signs of pseudomembranous colitis after starting amoxicillin (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their physician immediately.
What is the dosage for amoxicillin?
- For most infections in adults the dose of amoxicillin is 250 mg every 8 hours, 500 mg every 8 hours, 500 mg every 12 hours or 875 mg every 12 hours, depending on the type and severity of infection.
- For the treatment of adults with gonorrhea, the dose is 3 g given as one dose.
- For most infections, children older than 3 months but less than 40 kg are treated with 25 or 45 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours or 20 or 40 mg/kg/day with one-third of the daily dose given every 8 hours depending on the type and severity of the infection.
- Amoxicillin can be taken with or without food.
Which drugs or supplements interact with amoxicillin?
Amoxicillin is rarely associated with important drug interactions.
Is amoxicillin safe to take if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Penicillins are generally considered safe for use by pregnant women who are not allergic to penicillin.
- Small amounts of amoxicillin may be excreted in breast milk and may cause diarrhea or allergic responses in nursing infants. Amoxicillin is generally considered safe to use while breastfeeding. Amoxicillin is used to treat infections in the newborn.
What else should I know about amoxicillin?
- Capsules: 250 and 500 mg.
- Tablets: 500 and 875 mg.
- Chewable tablets: 125, 200, 250, and 400 mg.
- Powder for suspension: 50 mg/ml ; 125, 200, 250, and 400 mg/5 ml.
- Tablet (Extended release): 775 mg
- Amoxicillin capsules as well as the 125 and 250 mg dry powders should b e stored at or below 20 C (68 F).
- Chewable tablets as well as 200 and 400 mg dry powders should be stored at or below 25 C(77 F).
- Trimox capsules and unreconstituted powder should be stored at or below 20 C (68 F), and chewable tablets should be stored at room temperature 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
- Powder that has been mixed with water should be discarded after 14 days. Refrigeration is preferred but not required for powder mixed with water.
Other information about amoxicillin
- Amoxicillin is available in generic form and is available by prescription only.
- Brand names available in the US for amoxicillin are Amoxil, Moxatag, and Larotid.
Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxatag, Larotid) is an antibiotic that belongs to a class of antibiotics called penicillins. Common infections that amoxicillin is used to treat include middle ear infections, tonsillitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, skin, gonorrhea, and urinary tract infections.
Dispermox, Trimox, Wymox, Utimox, and Polymox are discontinued brands and are no longer available in the US.
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Treatment & Diagnosis
- Cloudy Urine
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- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) Infection
- Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
- Middle Ear Infection (Otitis Media)
- Lyme Disease
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Acute Sinusitis
- Scarlet Fever
- Gum Disease
- Urinary Tract Infection FAQs
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- Skin FAQs
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- Acne FAQs
- Rosacea FAQs
- Strep Streptococcal Throat Infection FAQs
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- Antibiotics 101
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Top amoxicillin Related Articles
Adenoids and Tonsils
Tonsillitis is a contagious infection with symptoms of bad breath, snoring, congestion, headache, hoarseness, laryngitis, and coughing up blood.
Tonsillitis can be caused acute infection of the tonsils, and several types of bacteria or viruses (for example, strep throat or mononucleosis). There are two types of tonsillitis, acute and chronic. Acute tonsillitis lasts from one to two weeks while chronic tonsillitis can last from months to years.
Treatment of tonsillitis and adenoids include antibiotics, over-the-counter medications, and home remedies to relieve pain and inflammation, for example, salt water gargle, slippery elm throat lozenges, sipping warm beverages and eating frozen foods (ice cream, popsicles), serrapeptase, papain, and andrographism Some people with chronic tonsillitis may need surgery (tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy ).
Gastritis (acute and chronic) is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach Some people have no gastritis symptoms, but when they do occur they may include bloating, belching, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. H. pylori infection and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the two main causes of gastritis. Alcohol, caffeine, and high-fat foods also can cause gastritis.
Fried, fatty, and spicy foods, and alcohol aggravate gastritis symptoms. Other stomach lining irritants that aggravate symptoms include cigarette smoking, acidic juices, caffeine, tomato products, peppers, and chili powder.
Foods that sooth gastritis symptoms, and that help reduce and stop H. pylori infection growth in the stomach include apples, onions, garlic, teas, green leafy vegetables, coconut water, and wheat bran.
Gastritis is diagnosed with endoscopy, blood tests, or stool tests. Some people get relief from gastritis symptoms with prescription and non-prescription antacids, histamine blockers like famotidine (Pepcid AC) or ranitidine (Zantac 75), or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like omeprazole (Prilosec) and esomeprazole (Nexium). These drugs will not cure gastritis.
Complications of gastritis include gastric cancers, MALT lymphoma, renal problems, and death
Helicobacter PyloriHelicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria that causes chronic inflammation (gastritis) of the inner lining of the stomach, and also is the most common cause of ulcers worldwide. About 50% of people in the world carries or is infected with H. pylori. Common symptoms of H. pylori infection are occasional abdominal discomfort, bloating, belching or burping, and nausea and vomiting. H. pylori infection is difficult to erdicate, and treatment is with two or more antibiotics.
Liver BiopsyLiver biopsy is a procedure used to remove a small piece of liver tissue for examination for signs of disease or damage to the liver. Preparation for liver biopsy includes discontinuing certain medications. The techniques used to perform liver biopsy include percutaneous liver biopsy, transvenous liver biopsy, and laparoscopic liver biopsy. Recovery from liver biopsy are generally one to two days. Certain risks are associated with liver biopsy.
Do I Have Pneumonia?Pneumonia can be deadly. Take the Pneumonia Quiz on MedicineNet to learn more about this highly contagious, infectious disease.
RosaceaRosacea is a skin disease that causes redness of the forehead, chin, and lower half of the nose. In addition to inflammation of the facial skin, symptoms include dilation of the blood vessels and pimples (acne rosacea) in the middle third of the face. Oral and topical antibiotics are treatments for rosacea. If left untreated, rhinophyma (a disfiguring nose condition) may result.
SinusitisSinus infection (sinusitis) is caused by allergies, infection, and chemicals or other irritants of sinuses. Signs and symptoms are headache, fever, and facial tenderness, pressure, or pain. Treatments of sinus infections are generally with antibiotics and at times, home remedies.
Skin Problems SlideshowLearn to spot and treat skin conditions commonly found in adults such as acne, eczema, shingles, psoriasis, rosacea, hives, cold sores, razor bumps, athlete's foot, and more.
Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
Sore throat usually is described as pain or discomfort in the throat area. A sore throat may be caused by bacterial infections, viral infections, toxins, irritants, trauma, or injury to the throat area. Common symptoms of a sore throat include a fever, cough, runny nose, hoarseness, earaches, sneezing, and body aches. Home remedies for a sore throat include warm soothing liquids and throat lozenges. OTC remedies for a sore throat include OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Antibiotics may be necessary for some cases of sore throat.
Sore Throat SlideshowExplore the types and causes of a sore throat through pictures, including strep throat, and learn how to find relief from that raw, scratchy feeling.
Staph InfectionStaphylococcus or Staph is a group of bacteria that can cause a multitude of diseases. Staph infections can cause illness directly by infection or indirectly by the toxins they produce. Symptoms and signs of a Staph infection include redness, swelling, pain, and drainage of pus. Minor skin infections are treated with an antibiotic ointment, while more serious infections are treated with intravenous antibiotics.
Take the STD QuizThere are more sexually transmitted diseases than just the ones you've heard of. Find out what you've been missing with the STD Quiz.
STDs in Men Overview
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. STDs in men cause no symptoms or symptoms like
genital burning, itching, sores, rashes, or discharge.
Common infections that are sexually transmitted in men include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis C and B, genital warts, human papillomavirus (HPV), and genital herpes.
Some STDs in men are treatable while others are not. STDs are diagnosed with tests that identify proteins or genetic material of the organisms causing the infection. The prognosis of an STD depends on whether the infection is treatable or not. Use of latex condoms can help reduce the risk of contracting an STD but it does not eliminate the risk entirely.
STDs Facts SlideshowLearn about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including symptoms, signs, diagnosis, and treatment options. Get more information on herpes, genital warts, chlamydia, scabies, HIV/AIDS, and other STDs.
The Clap (Gonorrhea) PictureA sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoea. See a picture of The Clap (Gonorrhea) and learn more about the health topic.
Urinary Tract InfectionA urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra. E. coli, a type of bacteria that lives in the bowel and near the anus, causes most UTIs. UTI symptoms include pain, abdominal pain, mild fever, urinary urgency and frequency. Treatment involves a course of antibiotics.
UTI SlideshowUrinary tract infections (UTI), including bladder infections, affect women and men, causing UTI symptoms like kidney infection. Read about UTI symptoms, treatment, causes, and home remedies.
Urinary Tract Infection QuizHow would you know if you had urinary tract infection (UTI)? Take the Urinary Tract Infection in Adult Quiz to learn the causes, symptoms, and treatments for infection that can affect your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.