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All about: Amoxicillin, Clavulanate potassium

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Generic name: Amoxicillin, Clavulanate potassium
Brand names: Augmentin XR, Augmentin

Why is Amoxicillin, Clavulanate potassium prescribed?

Augmentin is used in the treatment of lower respiratory, middle ear, sinus, skin, and urinary tract infections that are caused by certain specific bacteria. These bacteria produce a chemical enzyme called beta lactamase that makes some infections particularly difficult to treat.

Augmentin ES-600, a stronger, oral-suspension form of the drug, is prescribed for certain stubborn ear infections that previous treatment has failed to clear up in children two and under, or those attending day care.

Augmentin XR is an extended-release form of the drug used to treat pneumonia and sinus infections.

Most important fact about Amoxicillin, Clavulanate potassium

If you are allergic to either penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics in any form, consult your doctor before taking Augmentin. You may be allergic to it, 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, Clavulanate potassium?

Augmentin should be taken every 8 or 12 hours, depending on the dosage strength. It may be taken with or without food, but taking it with meals or snacks will help prevent stomach upset. However, the extended-release form, Augmentin XR, should always be taken with food to improve absorption.

Your doctor will only prescribe Augmentin to treat a bacterial infection; it will not cure a viral infection, such as the common cold. It's important to take the full dosage schedule of Augmentin, even if you're feeling better in a few days. Not completing the full dosage schedule may decrease the drug's effectiveness and increase the chances that the bacteria may become resistant to Augmentin and similar antibiotics.

Shake the suspension well. Use a dosing spoon or medicine dropper to give a child the medication; rinse the spoon or dropper after each use.

--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 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...

Store the suspension under refrigeration and discard after 10 days. Store tablets away from heat, light, and moisture.

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 Augmentin.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Diarrhea/loose stools, nausea, skin rashes and hives

Why should Amoxicillin, Clavulanate potassium not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to any penicillin medication, do not take Amoxicillin, Clavulanate potassium.

Also avoid taking Augmentin if it has ever given you liver problems or yellowing of the skin and eyes. Additionally, do not take Augmentin XR if you have severe kidney problems or need dialysis.

Special warnings about Amoxicillin, Clavulanate potassium

Augmentin and other penicillin-like medicines are generally safe; however, anyone with liver, kidney, or blood disorders is at increased risk when using Amoxicillin, Clavulanate potassium. Alternative choices may be available to your doctor.

If you have diabetes and test your urine for the presence of sugar, you should ask your doctor or pharmacist if Amoxicillin, Clavulanate potassium will interfere with the type of test you use.

Allergic reactions to Amoxicillin, Clavulanate potassium can be serious and possibly fatal. Let your doctor know about previous allergic reactions to medicines, food, or other substances before using Augmentin. If you experience a reaction, report it to your doctor immediately and seek medical treatment.

If you develop diarrhea while taking Augmentin, inform your doctor. It could be a sign of a potentially dangerous form of bowel inflammation.

Some formulations of Augmentin contain phenylalanine. If you have the hereditary disease phenylketonuria, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking Amoxicillin, Clavulanate potassium.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Amoxicillin, Clavulanate potassium

Augmentin may react with the antigout medication Benemid, resulting in changes in blood levels. A reaction with another antigout drug, Zyloprim, may cause a rash. Notify your doctor if you are taking either of these drugs.

Like many antibiotics, Augmentin may reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. You may want to take additional measures while taking Augmentin.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Augmentin during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. Because there may be risk to the developing baby, doctors usually recommend Augmentin to pregnant women only when the benefits of therapy outweigh any potential danger. Augmentin appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Augmentin is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop nursing your baby until your treatment with Amoxicillin, Clavulanate potassium is finished.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS

The usual adult dose is one 500-milligram tablet every 12 hours or one 250-milligram tablet every 8 hours. For more severe infections and infections of the respiratory tract, the dose should be one 875-milligram tablet every 12 hours or one 500-milligram tablet every 8 hours. It is essential that you take this medicine according to your doctor's directions.

The total daily dose of Augmentin XR is 4,000 milligrams of amoxicillin and 250 milligrams of clavulanate potassium, given in divided doses every 12 hours for 10 days (for sinus infections) or for 7 to 10 days (for pneumonia).

CHILDREN

Older than 3 months

For middle ear infections, sinus inflammation, lower respiratory tract infections, and more severe infections, the usual dose of the 200- or 400-milligram suspension is 45 milligrams per 2.2 pounds per day, in 2 doses, every 12 hours, and of the 125- or 250-milligram suspension, 40 milligrams per 2.2 pounds per day, in 3 doses, every 8 hours.

For less severe infections, the usual dose is 25 milligrams of the 200- or 400-milligram suspension for each 2.2 pounds of weight per day, divided into 2 doses, every 12 hours, or 20 milligrams of the 125- or 250-milligram suspension per 2.2 pounds per day, divided into 3 doses, every 8 hours.

The usual dosage of Augmentin ES-600 oral suspension is 90 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day, divided into 2 doses taken every 12 hours. Treatment lasts 10 days.

Children weighing 88 pounds or more will take the adult dosage of standard Augmentin.

Less than 3 months

Children in this age group take 30 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day, divided into 2 doses and taken every 12 hours.

Augmentin XR has not been studied in children younger than 16 years old and should not be used in this group.

Overdosage

Augmentin is generally safe; however, large amounts may cause overdose symptoms. Suspected overdoses of Augmentin must be treated immediately; contact your physician or an emergency room.

  • Symptoms of Augmentin overdose may include:
    Diarrhea, drowsiness, kidney problems, overactivity, rash, stomach and abdominal pain, vomiting

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