Amoxicillin : What you need to know?
What is amoxicillin?
Amoxicillin is a type of antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics like amoxicillin and others won’t treat viral infections like the flu, colds, or other respiratory illnesses. It ranks as one of the most regularly prescribed antibiotics in health care. It is routinely administered to children as well as adults. It can be used alone or as part of combination therapy alongside additional antibiotics and drugs.
The way it works, its health advantages, dosage, adverse reactions, risks, and interactions with other drugs are all discussed in this article.
Key facts about amoxicillin
- Amoxicillin is one of the essential drugs in the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines.
- It belongs to a class of drugs called penicillin antibiotics.
- Amoxil, Sumox, Moxilin, and Trimox are familiar brand names.
- Amoxicillin is available in various forms like chewable tablets, liquid suspension and powder for suspension, capsules, and extended-release tablets.
- They are also available as injectables but should only be given in a hospital setup.
How does it work?
- It destroys bacteria by disrupting its cell wall.
- It kills the germs and stops their growth.
- Their effectiveness depends more on when the drug is taken than the dosage.
- Oral tablets begin acting immediately after a dose is taken.
- It may take several days after the initial dose for the medicine to begin reducing the infection’s symptoms.
Recommended dose of amoxicillin
For bacterial infections
In newborns and infants
- Three months and younger – usually 30 mg/kg body weight per day, divided and given every 12 hours.
- More than three months – 20 to 45 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8-12 hours.
- 750 to 1750 mg/day, divided into multiple doses given every 8-12 hours.
Dosage may vary depending on the individual’s body weight, age, and the infection to be treated. And the doctor should make the decision.
How to use it?
- It is frequently consumed by mouth every twelve hours (twice per day) or every eight hours (thrice per day).
- It is suitable for use with or without meals. If it upsets the stomach, take it with meals.
- Taking this antibiotic at regular intervals and at the same time every day will give the best results.
- Avoid missing doses in between.
- Even if one starts to feel better, keep taking the medication until one finishes the whole prescription course.
What to do if a dose is missed?
- As soon as you recall, take the missed dose.
- If it is time for the next dose, forget the missed one and take the following one.
- Please refrain from taking extra or double doses to make up for missing ones.
Uses of amoxicillin
Amoxicillin is prescribed for the following conditions
- Treats Helicobacter pylori infection.
- Treats infections of the ears, nose, and throat.
- Helps to reduce bacterial sinusitis.
- Treats urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Treats infections in the lower respiratory tract.
- Treats bacterial skin infections.
- Used to treat dental infections.
- Protects against infected endocarditis.
- It is used to treat Lyme disease.
- Protects against anthrax infection following exposure.
Treats Helicobacter pylori infection
- Amoxicillin helps remove H. pylori and is indicated in patients with proven peptic ulcers. It is used in a dual treatment with lansoprazole or triple therapy with clarithromycin and lansoprazole
Treats infections of the ears, throat, and nose
- Like bacterial pharyngitis, tonsilitis and otitis media in children above twelve years and adults.
Helps to reduce bacterial sinusitis
- Amoxicillin is given alone or with clavulanate for treating bacterial infection of the sinuses.
Aids in the treatment of Urinary tract infections (UTI)
- The most frequent cause of UTIs is still Escherichia coli; amoxicillin-clavulanate is an excellent antibiotic to treat it.
Treats lower respiratory tract infections
- Amoxicillin can treat bacterial infections such as pneumonia and infection of the bronchial tubes leading to the lungs.
Treats bacterial skin infections
- Amoxicillin combined with clavulanic acid makes it appropriate for treating significant skin and soft tissue infections caused by multiple microorganisms.
Used to treat dental infections
- Amoxicillin can be used alone or in combination with metronidazole or clavulanate to treat infections of gums and teeth
Protects against infective endocarditis
- People with heart conditions like heart diseases from birth or the ones with prosthetic valves have an increased risk of infective endocarditis.
- These people usually take Amoxicillin before invasive procedures in the mouth (dental) or upper respiratory tract to prevent infective endocarditis.
Helps treat Lyme disease
- The vast majority of instances of early Lyme disease are resolved with a short course of antibiotics taken orally, like doxycycline or Amoxicillin.
Protects against anthrax infection following exposure
- Amoxicillin is a second-line treatment for anthrax post-exposure prophylaxis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Side effects of amoxicillin
Common side effects of taking Amoxicillin may include
More severe side effects that may require medical help may include
- Skin rashes
- Swelling of the lips, throat, tongue, or face.
- Skin redness, blistering, and peeling, even inside the mouth.
- Severe diarrhea.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge.
- Fever, Swollen lymph nodes.
- Yellowing of eyes and skin.
- Abdominal pain.
Risk associated with amoxicillin
Before taking Amoxicillin, consider the following risks
- Anaphylaxis – severe hypersensitivity reaction to Amoxicillin can happen along with low blood pressure, spasms of the upper respiratory tract, and severe itching.
- Reversible liver damage – caused by amoxicillin hypersensitivity. Most patients recover quickly after discontinuing Amoxicillin, and they recover soon after stopping Amoxicillin.
- Antibiotic resistance – using antibiotics when they are not needed increases a person’s risk of illness later in life, as does resisting antibiotic therapy
- Penicillin can produce seizures – at large dosages, which is a worry, especially in individuals with renal failure.
- People with a history of Amoxicillin, penicillin, cephalosporin antibiotic, or any other allergies should notify their doctor.
- Patients need to realize that any symptoms, such as rashes, swelling of the mouth, tongue, or lips, should be reported to their doctor.
- Older adults or those with kidney issues should use this medication cautiously because the drug is eliminated from the body via the kidneys. Any problems with this may result in excessive medicines.
- Individuals with infectious mononucleosis shouldn’t consume Amoxicillin since it has been linked to increased skin rashes.
- When someone is taking long-term amoxicillin therapy, their liver and kidney function should be regularly evaluated.
- It should be remembered that Amoxicillin might generate a false positive result when evaluating for sugar or glucose in the urine.
- A return of the infection could return if the treatment is stopped too soon and germs are given a chance to grow.
Interaction of amoxicillin with other medicines
The following drugs may interact with Amoxicillin
- Anticoagulants or blood thinners – like warfarin and heparin, may exaggerate the risk of bleeding when used with Amoxicillin
- Oral contraceptives or birth control pills – Consider choosing a barrier method of birth control while taking Amoxicillin. Their doctor might also give one an alternative method of birth control
- Probenecid – combining probenecid and Amoxicillin may result in higher blood levels of the antibiotic
- Allopurinol – if taken with Amoxicillin, one could experience a rash