Amoxicillin

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Update Date 12/05/2020 . 8 mins read

Know the basics

What is amoxicillin used for?

Amoxicillin is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. This medication is a penicillin-type antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.

This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.

Amoxicillin is also used with other medications to treat stomach/intestinal ulcers caused by the bacteria H. pylori and to prevent the ulcers from returning.

Other uses: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved US professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This drug may also be used by people with certain heart problems (such as heart valve disease) before medical/dental procedures (such as tooth/gum procedures) to prevent heart infection.

How should I take amoxicillin?

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually every 8 or 12 hours. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Drink plenty of fluids while using this medication unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.

Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

How do I store amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store amoxicillin in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of amoxicillin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush amoxicillin down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using amoxicillin?

Before taking amoxicillin:

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to amoxicillin, penicillin, cephalosporins, or any other medications.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: chloramphenicol (chlormycetin), other antibiotics, and probenecid (benemid). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease, allergies, asthma, hay fever, hives, or phenylketonuria.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking amoxicillin, call your doctor.

Is it safe to take amoxicillin during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category B according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of amoxicillin?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • White patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • Fever, swollen glands, rash or itching, joint pain, or general ill feeling;
  • Pale or yellowed skin, yellowing of the eyes, dark colored urine, fever, confusion or weakness;
  • Severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
  • Easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin; or
  • Severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting;
  • Vaginal itching or discharge;
  • Headache; or
  • Swollen, black, or “hairy” tongue.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval, especially if you are using:

  • Acrivastine, Bupropion, Chlortetracycline, Demeclocycline, Doxycycline, Lymecycline, Meclocycline, Methacycline, Methotrexate, Minocycline, Oxytetracycline, Rolitetracycline, Tetracycline, Venlafaxine, Warfarin, Acenocoumarol, Khat, Probenecid.

Does food or alcohol interact with amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Allergy to penicillins or cephalosporin antibiotics (e.g., cefaclor, cefadroxil, cephalexin, Ceftin®, or Keflex®).
  • Mononucleosis (viral infection)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Kidney disease, severe—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)—The chewable tablet contains phenylalanine, which can make this condition worse.

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Amoxicillin for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Actinomycosis: 500 mg orally 3 times a day or 875 mg orally twice a day for six months.

Usual Adult Dose for Anthrax Prophylaxis: 500 mg orally every 8 hours.

Usual Adult Dose for Cutaneous Bacillus anthracis: 500 mg orally three times a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Bacterial Endocarditis Prophylaxis: 2 g orally given one hour prior to the procedure.

Usual Adult Dose for Chlamydia Infection: 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 days in pregnant patients as an alternative to erythromycin in macrolide-sensitive individuals.

Usual Adult Dose for Cystitis: 250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 3 to 7 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered.

Usual Adult Dose for Urinary Tract Infection: 250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 3 to 7 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered.

Usual Adult Dose for Helicobacter pylori Infection: 1 g orally 2 to 3 times a day for 14 days.

Usual Adult Dose for Lyme Disease – Arthritis: 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 14 to 30 days.

Usual Adult Dose for Lyme Disease – Carditis: 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 14 to 30 days.

Usual Adult Dose for Lyme Disease – Erythema Chronicum Migrans: 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 14 to 30 days.

Usual Adult Dose for Lyme Disease – Neurologic: 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 14 to 30 days.

Usual Adult Dose for Otitis Media: 250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 10 to 14 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered.

Usual Adult Dose for Pneumonia: 500 mg orally 3 times a day or 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered for 7 to 10 days if pneumococcal pneumonia is suspected.

Usual Adult Dose for Sinusitis: 250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 10 to 14 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered.

Usual Adult Dose for Skin or Soft Tissue Infection: 250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 to 10 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered.

Usual Adult Dose for Upper Respiratory Tract Infection: 250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 to 10 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered.

Usual Adult Dose for Bronchitis: 250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 to 10 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered.

Usual Adult Dose for Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis: Immediate-release: 250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 to 10 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered.
Extended-release: 775 mg orally once a day within 1 hour after a meal for 10 days; for infections secondary to Streptococcus pyogenes.

Usual Adult Dose for Bacterial Infection: 250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 to 21 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered.

What is the dose of Amoxicillin for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Bacterial Endocarditis Prophylaxis: 50 mg/kg orally as a single dose 1 hour prior to procedure.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Anthrax Prophylaxis: 80 mg/kg/day divided into equal doses administered orally every 8 hours.
Maximum dose: 500 mg/dose.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Cutaneous Bacillus anthracis: Treatment for confirmed cases of cutaneous Bacillus anthracis infection: 80 mg/kg/day divided into equal doses administered orally every 8 hours.
Maximum dose: 500 mg/dose.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Otitis Media

4 weeks to 3 months: 20 to 30 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours.
4 months to 12 years: 20 to 50 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 to 12 hours; acute otitis media due to highly resistant strains of Streptococcus pneumonia may require doses of 80 to 90 mg/kg/day orally divided into 2 equal doses 12 hours apart.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Skin or Soft Tissue Infection

4 weeks to 3 months: 20 to 30 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours.
4 months to 12 years: 20 to 50 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 to 12 hours; acute otitis media due to highly resistant strains of Streptococcus pneumonia may require doses of 80 to 90 mg/kg/day orally divided into 2 equal doses 12 hours apart.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Urinary Tract Infection

4 weeks to 3 months: 20 to 30 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours.
4 months to 12 years: 20 to 50 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 to 12 hours; acute otitis media due to highly resistant strains of Streptococcus pneumonia may require doses of 80 to 90 mg/kg/day orally divided into 2 equal doses 12 hours apart.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Pneumonia: 40 to 50 mg/kg/day orally in divided doses every 8 hours.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis

4 weeks to 3 months: 20 to 30 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours.
4 months to 12 years: 20 to 50 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 to 12 hour
12 years or older:
Immediate-release: 250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 to 10 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered.
Extended-release: 775 mg orally once a day within 1 hour after a meal for 10 days; for infections secondary to S pyogenes.

How is amoxicillin available?

Amoxicillin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

Capsule, Oral: 250 mg, 500 mg.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of amoxicillin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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