Suprax (cefixime) vs. Augmentin: What's the difference?

What are Suprax and Augmentin?

Suprax is a cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat middle ear infections (otitis media), tonsillitis, throat infections (pharyngitis), laryngitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, urinary tract infections (UTIs), gonorrhea, and acute bacterial bronchitis in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Other drugs in the cephalosporin class include cephalexin (Keflex), cefaclor (Ceclor), cefuroxime (Zinacef), cefpodoxime (Vantin), cefprozil (Cefzil), and injectable forms. Cephalosporins stop bacteria from multiplying by preventing bacteria from forming the walls that surround and protect them from their environment and keep the contents of the bacterial cell together; bacteria typically cannot survive without a cell wall. Suprax is effective against a wide spectrum of bacteria including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Hemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, Moraxella catarrhalis, Klebsiella, Proteus mirabilis, Salmonella, Shigella, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Augmentin (amoxicillin and clavulanic acid) is a combination of a penicillin-type antibiotic and a beta-lactamase inhibitor used to treat middle ear infections (otitis media), tonsillitis, throat infections (pharyngitis), laryngitis, bronchitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and skin infections. Augmentin is effective against some bacteria such as H. influenzae, N. gonorrhoeae, E. coli, Pneumococci, Streptococci, and certain strains of Staphylococci. Amoxicillin stops 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. Clavulanic acid enhances the effectiveness of amoxicillin against bacteria that are ordinarily resistant to amoxicillin alone.

QUESTION

Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day. See Answer

What are the side effects of Suprax and Augmentin?

Suprax

Common side effects of Suprax include:

Other side effects include:

Augmentin

Common side effects are:

  • abdominal discomfort,
  • bloating,
  • diarrhea,
  • gas,
  • headache,
  • heartburn,
  • nausea, and
  • vomiting.

Other important side effects include:

Serious but rare reactions include seizures, severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), and low platelet or red blood cell count. Antibiotics 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 Augmentin (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their physician immediately. Persons 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.

What is the dosage of Suprax vs. Augmentin?

Suprax

  • The recommended adult dose for otitis media, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, and urinary tract infections is 400 mg once daily or divided and given as 200 mg every 12 hours.
  • Pediatric patients (6 months and older) have a recommended dose of 8 mg/kg/day once daily or in two doses of 4/mg/kg every 12 hours.

Augmentin

  • Augmentin should be taken on a full stomach to reduce stomach upset. No more than one tablet should be taken at a time since the extra clavulanic acid can cause stomach upset.
  • Recommended adult doses are 500 mg every 8-12 hours, 250 mg every 8 hours, 875 mg every 12 hours, or 2000 mg every 12 hours.
  • Dosing is based on the amoxicillin component.
  • Pediatric patients weighing more than 40 kg should receive adult doses.
  • Pediatric patients weighing less than 40 kg should receive 20 to 45 mg/kg every 8 or 12 hours.

What drugs interact with Suprax and Augmentin?

Suprax

  • Probenecid (Benemid) may increase the blood concentration of Suprax by decreasing removal of Suprax by the kidney. This interaction sometimes is used to enhance the effect of cephalosporins.
  • Combining Suprax with aminoglycosides -- for example, tobramycin (Tobradex) -- produces additive bacterial killing effects but also may increase the risk of harmful effects to the kidney.
  • Exenatide (Byetta) may delay or reduce the absorption of cephalosporins. Cephalosporins should be administered one hour before exenatide.
  • Suprax may cause a false positive urine ketone test.

Augmentin

  • Co-administration of probenecid, a drug used for treating gout, prevents the normal elimination of amoxicillin by the kidneys and can cause high, toxic blood levels of amoxicillin.
  • Augmentin may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills, increasing the risk of unexpected pregnancies.
  • Combining Augmentin and allopurinol (Zyloprim, Aloprim) may increase the occurrence of skin rash.

Are Suprax and Augmentin safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Suprax

Safety in pregnancy has not been established for Suprax. There are no adequate studies in pregnant women; however, studies in animals suggest no important effects on the fetus.

Safety in nursing mothers has not been established. It is not known if Suprax is excreted in breast milk.

Augmentin

Use of Augmentin in pregnant women has not been well studied. Penicillins are generally considered safe for use by pregnant women who are not allergic to penicillin.

Augmentin is excreted in breast milk and may cause diarrhea in the infant.

SLIDESHOW

Bacterial Infections 101: Types, Symptoms, and Treatments See Slideshow

Summary

Suprax (cefixime) and Augmentin (amoxicillin and clavulanic acid) are antibiotics used to treat infections of the middle ear (otitis media), tonsillitis, throat infections (pharyngitis), laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

FDA Logo

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.

Medically Reviewed on 7/9/2019
References
FDA Prescribing Information
CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW