- Bacterial Infections 101 Pictures Slideshow
- Take the Tummy Trouble Quiz
- Hepatitis C Slideshow Pictures
- What is ampicillin?
- Is ampicillin available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for ampicillin?
- Why is ampicillin prescribed to patients?
- What are the side effects of ampicillin?
- What is the dosage for ampicillin?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with ampicillin?
- Is ampicillin safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about ampicillin?
What is ampicillin?
Ampicillin is an antibiotic used for treating bacterial infections.
Quick GuideSymptoms of Mono: Infectious Mononucleosis Treatment
Why is ampicillin prescribed to patients?
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.
What are the side effects of ampicillin?
Common side effects of ampicillin include:
- loss of appetite,
- abdominal pain,
- confusion and
Patients with a history of allergic reactions to other penicillins should not receive ampicillin. Persons who are allergic to the cephalosporin class of antibiotics, which are related to the penicillins may or may not be allergic to penicillins [for example, cefaclor (Ceclor), cephalexin (Keflex), and cefprozil (Cefzil)]. Serious but rare reactions include seizures, severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), and low platelet or red blood cell count.
Ampicillin 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 ampicillin (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their physician immediately.
What is the dosage for ampicillin?
The usual oral dose range for most infections is 250 to 500 mg 4 times daily for 7-14 days. Injectable doses range from 250 to 2000 mg 4 times daily. When used to treat gonorrhea, a single 3.5 gram dose (seven 500 mg capsules) is administered with 1 g probenecid (Benemid). The probenecid slows down the elimination of ampicillin so that ampicillin remains in the body longer. Food in the stomach reduces how much and how quickly ampicillin is absorbed. Therefore, ampicillin should be taken either 1 hour prior to or 2 hours following a meal for maximal absorption; however, for persons who experience nausea or stomach distress after taking ampicillin, it may be taken with meals.
Which drugs or supplements interact with ampicillin?
Probenecid (Benemid) causes an increase in the amount of ampicillin in the body. Use of ampicillin with allopurinol (Zyloprim) can increase the incidence of drug-related skin rash. Ampicillin may reduce the effect BCG live vaccine and Typhoid live vaccine .
Is ampicillin safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
Ampicillin is considered safe during pregnancy.
Ampicillin is excreted in breast milk and may cause diarrhea or allergic responses in nursing infants. If ampicillin is used during pregnancy, the potential benefit of ampicillin for the mother should be weighed against the potential risk of side effects in the infant. Ampicillin is used for treating infants.
What else should I know about ampicillin?
What preparations of ampicillin are available?
Capsules: 250 and 500 mg. Powder oral suspension: 125 and 250 mg/5mL. Powder for injection: 250 mg, 500 mg, 1g, and 2 g.
How should I keep ampicillin stored?
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.
How does ampicillin work?
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.
When was ampicillin approved by the FDA?
Ampicillin was approved by the FDA in 1963.
Ampicillin is an antibiotic used to treat infections caused by:
- H. influenzae,
- N. gonorrhoea,
- E. coli,
- streptococci and
- certain strains of staphylococci.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
What Is a Staph Infection? Symptoms, Pictures
Do you know what a staph infection is? Learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of staph infections (Staphylococcus...
Meningitis Quiz: Test Your Infectious Disease IQ
What is meningitis and what causes it? Take our Meningitis Quiz to learn the causes, symptoms, treatments, and complications of...
Ear Infection Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Is it possible to prevent ear infections? Take the Ear Infection (Otitis Media) Quiz to learn the risks, causes, symptoms and...
Urinary Tract Infection Quiz
How would you know if you had urinary tract infection (UTI)? Take the Urinary Tract Infection in Adult Quiz to learn the causes,...
Related Disease Conditions
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
Sinus infection (sinusitis) is caused by allergies, infection, and chemicals or other irritants of sinuses. Signs and symptoms...
Staph Infection (Staphylococcus Aureus)
Staphylococcus or Staph is a group of bacteria that can cause a multitude of diseases. Staph infections can cause illness...
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra. E. coli, a type of bacteria that...
STDs in Men
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria,...
Infectious mononucleosis is a virus infection in which there is an increase of white blood cells that are mononuclear (with a...
Pneumonia is inflammation of the lungs caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. Symptoms and signs include cough, fever, shortness...
Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Women (STD)
Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are infections that are transmitted during any type of sexual exposure, including...
Ear Infection (Otitis Media)
Middle ear infection or inflammation (otitis media) is inflammation of the middle ear. There are two forms of this type of ear...
Group B Strep
Group B strep are bacteria called Streptococcus agalactiae that may sometimes cause infections both in a pregnant woman and her...
E. coli (0157:H7) (Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention)
There are many types of E. coli (Escherichia coli). E. coli can cause urinary tract and bladder infections, or lead to sepsis. E...
Gonorrhea In Women
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection transmitted during sexual contact. In women, symptoms include a yellow vaginal discharge,...
Strep Throat (Treatment, Causes, Home Remedies)
Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat. Signs and symptoms of strep throat include headache, nausea,...
Group A streptococcal infections are caused by group A streptococcus, a bacteria that causes a variety of health problems,...
Typhoid fever is an illness caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria. The illness is contracted by ingesting the bacteria in...
Encephalitis is a brain inflammation that causes sudden fever, vomiting, headache, light sensitivity, stiff neck and back,...
Clostridium Difficile Colitis (Antibiotic-Associated Colitis, C. difficile colitis)
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a bacterium, and is one of the most common causes of infection of the colon. C. difficile...
Salmonella infection (salmonellosis) is typically caused by the consumption of contaminated foods. Symptoms of salmonellosis...
Mitral Valve Prolapse (Syndrome, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Surgery)
Mitral valve prolapse (MVP), also called "click murmur syndrome" and "Barlow's syndrome," is the most common type of heart valve...
Aortic Valve Stenosis (Symptoms, Causes, Surgery)
Aortic valve stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve of the heart. The causes of aortic stenosis are wear and tear...
Listeria is a type of bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Listeriosis symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, and...
Is E. coli Contagious? (Symptoms and Cure)
E. coli is an infection found worldwide. There are several subtypes of the E. coli species. E. coli is transmitted from...
Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE)
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infection is the most common type of infection acquired by patients while hospitalized....
Influenza (flu) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache,...
Endocarditis, a serious infection of one of the four heart valves is caused by growth of bacteria on one of the heart valves;...
Shigellosis is a disease caused by the Shigella bacteria. Bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever are common symptoms. Mild...
Meningococcemia is a bloodstream infection caused by Neisseria meningitides. Meningococcemia symptoms include fever, headache,...
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Pregnancy (STDs)
When you are pregnant, many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be especially harmful to you and your baby. These STDs...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Urinary Tract Infection FAQs
- Ear Infection FAQs
- Meningitis FAQs
- Kidney Infections During Pregnancy
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Antibiotics 101
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- Antibiotics 101 - Audio Podcast
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Infectious Disease Resources
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Top ampicillin Related Articles
E. Coli 0157:H7There are many types of E. coli (Escherichia coli). E. coli can cause urinary tract and bladder infections, or lead to sepsis. E coli O157:H7 (EHEC) causes bloody diarrhea and colitis. Complications of E. coli infection include hemorrhagic diarrhea, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. E coli O157:H7 commonly is due to eating raw or undercooked hamburger or raw milk or dairy products.
Middle ear infection or inflammation (otitis media) is inflammation of the middle ear. There are two forms of this type of ear infection, acute and chronic. Acute otitis media is generally short in duration, and chronic otitis media generally lasts several weeks. Seventy-five percent of children in the U.S. suffer from otitis media at some point.
Signs and symptoms in babies, toddlers, and children may:
- Be irritable and pull and tug at their ears
- Be fussy
- Have problems feeding or sleeping
- Complain about pain and fullness in the ear
- Have a fever
- A buildup of pus in the ear
- Have signs and symptoms of an upper respiratory infection
Treatment depends upon the type (chronic or acute).
Ear Infection QuizIs it possible to prevent ear infections? Take the Ear Infection (Otitis Media) Quiz to learn the risks, causes, symptoms and treatments for the common ear infection.
Group B StrepGroup B strep are bacteria called Streptococcus agalactiae that may sometimes cause infections both in a pregnant woman and her newborn. Symptoms include fever, seizures, heart rate abnormalities, breathing problems, and fussiness. Intravenous antibiotics are used to treat group B strep infections.
Infectious MononucleosisInfectious mononucleosis is a virus infection in which there is an increase of white blood cells that are mononuclear (with a single nucleus) "Mono" and "kissing disease" are popular terms for this very common illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
Meningitis QuizWhat is meningitis and what causes it? Take our Meningitis Quiz to learn the causes, symptoms, treatments, and complications of this potentially life-threatening disease.
Pneumonia FactsPneumonia is inflammation of the lungs caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. Symptoms and signs include cough, fever, shortness of breath, and chills. Antibiotics treat pneumonia, and the choice of the antibiotic depends upon the cause of the infection.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs In Women)
Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are infections that are transmitted during any type of sexual exposure, including intercourse (vaginal or anal), oral sex, and the sharing of sexual devices, such as vibrators. Women can contract all of the STDs, but may have no symptoms, or have different symptoms than men do. Common STDs in women are:
- Zika virus
- Genital herpes
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Pubic lice
- Genital warts
Treatment for STDs depends upon the type.
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.
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.
Staph Infection SlideshowDo you know what a staph infection is? Learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of staph infections (Staphylococcus aureus), and how this group of bacteria can cause a multitude diseases ranging from mild to potentially fatal.
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.
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.
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.