What is Amoxicillin?
Amoxicillin is a prescriptional drug belonging to the class of antibiotics. It is mainly used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis (infection of the airway tubes leading to lungs), and infections of ears, throat, nose, skin, and urinary tract. It can be prescribed alone or in combination with other antibiotics.
What are the uses of Amoxicillin?
Amoxicillin is mainly used to treat various bacterial infections. It belongs to the penicillin-type of antibiotics. It mainly works by inhibiting (stopping) bacterial growth. Amoxicillin is used primarily for the treatment of the following conditions;
- Chest infections, including pneumonia
- Dental abscesses
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Skin Infections
- Throat infections
- Lower respiratory tract infections
- Acute uncomplicated Gonorrhea
- Ulcer caused by H.Pylori
- Bacterial infections
- Genitourinary infections
- Acute bacterial sinusitis
- Acute Otis Media
- Acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis
- Acute streptococcal tonsillitis and pharyngitis
- Community-acquired pneumonia
- Acute pyelonephritis
- Typhoid and paratyphoid fever
- Prosthetic joint infections
Amoxicillin is also indicated for the prophylaxis of endocarditis. The medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your physician or pharmacist for detailed information.
How do you use Amoxicillin?
- Read the patient information leaflet if available from the pharmacist before taking Amoxicillin and reach on time you get your refill. Ask your queries to your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand anything described on the patient information leaflet.
- It is mainly available as a tablet or capsule to be taken orally with food, usually one to three times or as prescribed by your physician.
- Try to take this medication daily at the same time.
- Do not use this medication less or more than prescribed by your doctor.
- Do not stop taking this medication abruptly without consulting your doctor.
If You Miss the Dose.
- If you happen to miss a dose of Amoxicillin, take the missed dose as soon as you remember.
- However, if it is almost time for the next dose, do not take the missed dose and continue with your next scheduled dose.
- Do not take a double dose to compensate for the missed dose.
- The gap between two doses should be at least 4 hours.
What are the side-effects and risks of Amoxicillin?
Like all other medications, Amoxicillin can cause side effects. Although it is unlikely to happen in everyone, it is important that you are aware of what could be the possible side effects.
Rare side effects (Less severity): Stop taking medication and contact your physician or pharmacist if you experience any of the below-mentioned side effects;
- Allergic reaction signs may include skin itching, rash, or swelling of face, lips, tongue or body, and breathing difficulties. If severe, it may lead to death.
- Serious liver damage signs include severe diarrhea with bleeding, blisters or redness of the skin, dark urine, pale stools, and yellowing of skin and eyes.
- Inflammation of the large bowel signs may include diarrhea, pain, and fever.
- High fever and chills
- Headache, Muscle pain, and skin rash
- Flu-like symptoms; rash, fever, swollen glands, increased in white blood cells
- Enlargement of lymph node, especially underarms
- Inflammation of blood vessels walls(caused by allergic reaction), which may result in joint pains and kidney problems
- Infection of the vagina, mouth, or skin folds
- Fits (Convulsions)
- Change in color of the tongue (yellow, brown, or black)
- Blood may take a long time to clot than normally
- Kidney problems
Common side effects:
Uncommon side effects:
This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.
Who should not take Amoxicillin?
You should not take Amoxicillin or inform your physician or pharmacist before taking Amoxicillin if you have the following conditions:
Kidney problems Glandular fever (Fever, sore throat, tiredness, and swollen glands) Urinary issues (unable to urinate properly) Talk to your doctor before taking Amoxicillin if:
- You are taking any other medication, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
- You are allergic to Amoxicillin or any other ingredients in the tablet.
- You are allergic to any other medication.
- You are taking any other drugs, over-the-counter medicines, herbal products, or nutritional supplements.
Besides, certain medicines may interfere with Amoxicillin's working and thus might not be safe to take them together. Some of them are:
- Allopurinol (Used for Gout)
- Probenecid (Used for Gout)
- Blood thinners such as warfarin
- Antibiotics such as Tetracycline
- Methotrexate (Used in the treatment of cancers and severe psoriasis)
This may not be a comprehensive list, and other drugs may interact with Amoxicillin. Please inform your doctor if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.
When should you not take Amoxicillin?
You should not take Amoxicillin if:
- It has passed the expiry date of the medicine printed on the pack.
- The packaging shows signs of tampering.
This drug may make you dizzy or tired. Hence, consumption of alcohol or any sedative, marijuana (cannabis), tranquilizer, or sleep aid can cause more dizziness.
Further, Amoxicillin may alter your ability to drive or operate machines. It may make you feel dizzy, sick, or tired, and even give a headache. If you feel any of these effects, do not drive or operate machines and immediately contact your doctor.