Amoxicillin

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic and treats infection. Finish taking all of your medication. Even if you feel better, do not stop taking medication unless your doctor tells you to stop.

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Amoxicillin Overview

Reviewed: October 1, 2012
Updated: 

Amoxicillin is a prescription medication used to treat certain bacterial infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, gonorrhea, and certain types of ulcers.  It can also treat bacterial infections of the ears, nose, throat, urinary tract, and skin.  This medication belongs to a group of drugs called penicillin antibiotics,  which work by blocking the growth of bacteria.

Amoxicillin comes as a capsule, tablet, and oral suspension forms. This medication is taken up to 3 times daily, with or without food.

Common side of amoxicillin effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache.

Patient Ratings for Amoxicillin

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What are you taking Amoxicillin for?

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  • Other
  • Actinomycosis
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Bites, Human
  • Chlamydia Infections
  • Duodenal Ulcer
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial
  • Helicobacter Infections
  • Listeriosis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Otitis Media
  • Sinusitis
  • Skin Diseases, Bacterial
  • Soft Tissue Infections
  • Streptococcal Infections
  • Urinary Tract Infections

How long have you been taking it?

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  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

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Amoxicillin Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautions

Uses of Amoxicillin

Amoxicillin is a prescription antibiotic used in the treatment of the following:

  • infections of the ear, nose, and throat
  • infections of the reproductive organs
  • infections of the urinary tract
  • infections of the skin and skin structure
  • infections of the lower respiratory tract
  • gonorrhea
  • infection by H. pylori (type of bacterium) to reduce the risk of duodenal ulcer recurrence

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Amoxicillin Brand Names

Amoxicillin may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Amoxicillin Drug Class

Amoxicillin is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Amoxicillin

Serious side effects have been reported with Amoxicillin. See the “Drug Precautions” section.

Common side effects of amoxicillin include the following:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • headache

This is not a complete list of amoxicillin side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Amoxicillin Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

This is not a complete list of amoxicillin drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Amoxicillin Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with amoxicillin including the following:

  • Hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to amoxicillin, penicillin, cephalosporins, or any other medication. Do not take amoxicillin if you have a penicillin allergy. Serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis (life-threatening), have occurred in patients taking penicillin antibiotics. Signs of an allergic reaction include:
    • rash
    • hives
    • itching
    • swelling of the face, lips, mouth, or throat
    • difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea. Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibiotics. It is usually mild and goes away. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibiotics, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as 2 or more months after the last dose. If diarrhea is severe, lasts more than 2 or 3 days, and is accompanied by fever, contact your doctor, as this may be a sign of an infection of the bowels.
  • Phenylketonuria. Amoxicillin chewable tablets contain phenylalanine. Caution is advised for those who have phenylketonuria.

Do not take amoxicillin if you:

  • have mononucleosis. A high percentage of patients with mononucleosis who receive ampicillin develop a skin rash.
  • have a history of allergic reaction to any type of penicillin antibiotic, including amoxicillin

 

Amoxicillin Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of amoxicillin there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving amoxicillin.

 

Inform MD

Before taking amoxicillin, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to penicillin or any other medications
  • develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) 2 or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibiotic. This is not typical, and your doctor should be notified.
  • have a history of diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics
  • have phenylketonuria
  • have kidney disease
  • have asthma
  • have hay fever
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Amoxicillin and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Amoxicillin falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with amoxicillin. But in animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.

Amoxicillin and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Amoxicillin has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from amoxicillin, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of this medication. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.

Amoxicillin Usage

Take amoxicillin exactly as prescribed.

Amoxicillin comes as a capsule, tablet, and oral suspension forms. This medication is taken up to 3 times daily, with or without food.

Thoroughly crush or chew and swallow the chewable tablets.

Do not chew, divide, or break regular amoxicillin tablets and capsules. Swallow the capsules and tablets whole.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of amoxicillin at the same time.

Amoxicillin Dosage

Take Amoxicillin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The Amoxicillin dose your doctor recommends will be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your height
  • your age
  • your gender

Neonates and Infants aged 12 weeks or younger (≤ 3 months): the recommended upper dose of amoxicillin is 30 mg/kg/day divided and given twice daily.

Adult Dosing (or children 40kg/88 lbs or greater):

  • Ear/Nose/Throat infection, mild or moderate: 500 mg twice daily or 250 mg three times daily
  • Ear/Nose/Throat, severe infection: 875 mg twice daily or 500 mg three times daily
  • Lower respiratory tract (airway) infection, mild or moderate or severe: 875 mg twice daily or 500 mg three times daily
  • Skin/Skin Structure infection, mild or moderate: 500 mg twice daily or 250 mg three times
  • Skin/Skin Structure infection, severe: 875 mg twice daily or 500 mg three times daily
  • Genitourinary tract infection, mild or moderate: 500 mg twice daily or 250 mg three times daily
  • Genitourinary tract infection, severe: 875 mg twice daily or 500 mg three times daily
  • Gonorrhea Acute, uncomplicated ano-genital and urethral infections in males and females: 3 grams as single oral dose

Dosing in Children (greater than 3 months old or less than 40 kg/88 lbs):

  • Ear/Nose/Throat infection, mild or moderate: hours 25 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours or 20 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 hours
  • Ear/Nose/Throat, severe infection: 45 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours or 40 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 hours
  • Lower respiratory tract (airway) infection, mild or moderate or severe: 45 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours or 40 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 hours
  • Skin/Skin Structure infection, mild or moderate: 25 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours or 20 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 hours
  • Skin/Skin Structure infection, severe: 45 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours or 40 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 hours
  • Genitourinary tract infection, mild or moderate: 25 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours or 20 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 hours
  • Genitourinary tract infection, severe: 45 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours or 40 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 hours
  • Gonorrhea Acute, uncomplicated ano-genital and urethral infections in males and females:
    • Prepubertal children: 50 mg/kg amoxicillin, combined with 25 mg/kg probenecid as a single dose. SINCE PROBENECID IS CONTRAINDICATED IN CHILDREN UNDER 2 YEARS, DO NOT USE THIS REGIMEN IN THESE CASES.

Amoxicillin Overdose

If you take too much amoxicillin, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.
  • Store amoxicillin capsules, tablets, and chewable tablets in the original container, tightly closed, away from excess heat (at room temperature) and moisture.
  • The liquid suspension and pediatric drops are best kept in the refrigerator, but may be stored at room temperature. Do not freeze. Throw away any unused liquid amoxicillin after 14 days.