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All about: Amoxicillin

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Generic name: Amoxicillin
Brand names: Trimox, Amoxil

Why is Amoxicillin prescribed?

Amoxil, an antibiotic, is used to treat a wide variety of infections, including: gonorrhea, middle ear infections, skin infections, upper and lower respiratory tract infections, and infections of the genital and urinary tract. In combination with other drugs such as Prilosec, Prevacid, and/or Biaxin, it is also used to treat duodenal ulcers caused by H. pylori bacteria (ulcers in the wall of the small intestine near the exit from the stomach).

Most important fact about Amoxicillin

If you are allergic to either penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics in any form, consult your doctor before taking Amoxil. There is a possibility that you are allergic to both types of medication; and if a reaction occurs, it could be extremely severe. If you take the drug and feel signs of a reaction, seek medical attention immediately.

How should you take Amoxicillin?

Amoxil can be taken with or without food. If you are using Amoxil suspension, shake it well before using.

Your doctor will only prescribe Amoxil to treat a bacterial infection. Amoxil will not cure a viral infection such as the common cold. It's important to take all of your medication as instructed by your doctor, even if you're feeling better in a few days. Not finishing the complete dosage of Amoxil may decrease the drug's effectiveness and increase the chances for bacterial resistance to Amoxil and similar antibiotics.

--If you miss a dose...

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, and you take 2 doses a day, take the one you missed and the next dose 5 to 6 hours later. If you take 3 or more doses a day, take the one you missed and the next dose 2 to 4 hours later. Then go back to your regular schedule.

--Storage instructions...

Amoxil suspension and pediatric drops should be stored in a tightly closed bottle. Discard any unused medication after 14 days. Refrigeration is preferable.

Store capsules at or below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Store chewable tablets and tablets at or below 77 degrees Fahrenheit in a tightly closed container.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Amoxil.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Agitation, anemia, anxiety, changes in behavior, colitis, confusion, convulsions, diarrhea, dizziness, hives, hyperactivity, insomnia, liver problems and jaundice, nausea, peeling skin, rash, tooth discoloration in children, vomiting

When used in combination with Prilosec, Prevacid, and/or Biaxin for the treatment of ulcers, the most common side effects are changes in taste sensation, diarrhea, and headache.

Why should Amoxicillin not be prescribed?

You should not use Amoxil if you are allergic to penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics (for example, Ceclor).

Special warnings about Amoxicillin

If you have ever had asthma, hives, hay fever, or other allergies, consult with your doctor before taking Amoxil.

You should stop using Amoxil if you experience reactions such as bruising, fever, skin rash, itching, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and/or sores on the genitals. If these reactions occur, stop taking Amoxil unless your doctor advises you to continue.

For infections such as strep throat, it is important to take Amoxil for the entire amount of time your doctor has prescribed. Even if you feel better, you need to continue taking Amoxil. If you stop taking Amoxil before your treatment time is complete, you may get other infections, such as glomerulonephritis (a kidney infection) or rheumatic fever.

If you are diabetic, be aware that Amoxil may cause a false positive Clinitest (urine glucose test) result to occur. You should consult with your doctor about using different tests while taking Amoxil.

Before taking Amoxil, tell your doctor if you have ever had asthma, colitis (inflammatory bowel disease), diabetes, or kidney or liver disease.

The chewable tablet form of Amoxil contains phenylalanine. If you or your child has the hereditary disease phenylketonuria, this form of Amoxil should not be used.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Amoxicillin

If Amoxil is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Amoxil with the following:

Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin)
Erythromycin (E.E.S., PCE, others)
Oral contraceptives
Probenecid
Tetracycline (Achromycin V, others)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Amoxil should be used during pregnancy only when clearly needed. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Since Amoxil may appear in breast milk, you should consult your doctor if you plan to breastfeed your baby.

Recommended dosage

Dosages will be determined by the type of infection being treated.

ADULTS

Ear, Nose, Throat, Skin, Genital, and Urinary Tract Infections

For mild or moderate infections, the usual dose is 250 milligrams every 8 hours, or 500 milligrams every 12 hours. For severe infections, the usual dose is 500 milligrams every 8 hours, or 875 milligrams every 12 hours.

Lower Respiratory Tract Infections

For mild, moderate, or severe infections, the usual dose is 500 milligrams every 8 hours, or 875 milligrams every 12 hours.

Gonorrhea, Acute, Uncomplicated Anogenital and Urethral Infections

The usual dosage is 3 grams in a single oral dose.

Ulcers

For ulcer treatment, Amoxil is combined with Biaxin, Prevacid, or Prilosec. There are several dosage regimens available. For more information, refer to the "Recommended Dosage" section under Biaxin, Prevacid, or Prilosec.

If your kidneys are severely impaired or you are undergoing hemodialysis your doctor may have to adjust your dosage accordingly.

CHILDREN OLDER THAN 3 MONTHS

Children weighing 88 pounds and over should follow the recommended adult dose schedule.

Children weighing under 88 pounds will have their dosage determined by their weight.

Ear, Nose, Throat, Genital, and Urinary Tract Infections

For mild or moderate infections, the usual dose is 25 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight, divided into two daily doses and taken every 12 hours; or 20 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight, divided into three daily doses and taken every 8 hours.

For severe infections, the usual dose is 45 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight, divided into two daily doses and taken every 12 hours; or 40 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight, divided into three daily doses and taken every 8 hours.

Lower Respiratory Tract Infections

For mild, moderate, or severe infections, the usual dose is 45 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight, divided into two daily doses and taken every 12 hours; or 40 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight, divided into three daily doses and taken every 8 hours.

For infants 3 months or younger the maximum daily dose is 30 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight, divided into two daily doses and taken every 12 hours.

The required amount of liquid medication should be placed directly on the child's tongue for swallowing. It can also be added to formula, milk, fruit juice, water, ginger ale, or cold drinks. The preparation should be taken immediately. To be certain the child is getting the full dose of medication, make sure he or she drinks the entire preparation.

If your child is taking the pediatric drops, use the dropper provided to measure the dosage.

Overdosage

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Symptoms of Amoxil overdose may include:
    Diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting

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