What is Amoxicillin?
Amoxicillin is a common antibiotic that is widely consumed around the globe. Amoxicillin belongs to a category of drugs referred to as penicillins that trace their origin from a fungiform known as Penicillium fungi. This drug is primarily used to treat different types of bacterial infections and works towards eliminating any form of harmful bacteria from the body. Amoxicillin works by forming cell walls that fight bacteria and prevent it from growing. The aim of this medication is to kill bacteria thus curing any infection in the body.
Before you order for amoxicillin, it is important to have an idea of the drug composition. For capsules, Amoxil which is the product name contains 250mg or 500mg amoxicillin that serves as the trihydrate. Inactive ingredients in the capsule include magnesium stearate, FD&C Red No.40, D&C Red No. 28, gelatin, FD&C Blue No.1, and titanium dioxide.
On the other hand, tablets contain 875mg or 500mg amoxicillin as the trihydrate. Inactive ingredients include titanium dioxide, polyethylene glycol, FD&C Red No.30 aluminum lake, Colloidal silicon dioxide, sodium starch glycolate, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, crospovidone, and microcrystalline cellulose.
For the oral suspension or powder, every 5ml contains 125mg, 200mg, 250mg or 400mg amoxicillin as the trihydrate. Inactive ingredients are sodium citrate, xanthan gum, silica gel, FD&C Red No.3, sodium benzoate, sucrose, and flavorings.
Amoxicillin works similarly to ampicillin in the way it prevents bacteria from attacking susceptible organisms. This drug works by inhibition of mucopeptide cell wall. Amoxicillin has been proved to be active against diverse strains of microorganisms both in clinical infections and in vitro. This drug remains stable and works effectively in the presence of gastric acid and is quickly absorbed after an oral dose has been administered. Amoxicillin diffuses easily and quickly into many body fluids and tissues except for spinal and brain fluid. Amoxicillin is excreted via urine but its excretion time can be lengthened if one is on current probenecid medication. Amoxicillin is roughly 20% protein-bound while in the bloodstream.
This medication is primarily used to treat any infection triggered by bacteria. Any reputable pharmacy should be able to offer guidance on diseases that can be treated by amoxicillin. Throat infections, skin infections, tonsillitis, urinary tract infections, bronchitis, Lyme disease, pneumonia, ear infections, typhoid, and gonorrhea can be cured by amoxicillin. Sadly, this drug isn’t effective for flu and common cold caused by viruses.
When used in conjunction with clarithromycin antibiotic, amoxicillin can treat H. Pylori bacterial infections. This drug can also lower stomach acid and offer relief to acid reflux when used together with lansoprazole. Other uses of amoxicillin include treatment of heart complications, after surgical procedures to protect the heart valve, safeguard newborns against bacterial infections, prevent chlamydia in expectant mothers and “off-label” treatment for anthrax only if specified by a doctor.
Mode of Indication, Dosage, and Administration
Amoxicillin can be administered orally as a capsule, tablet, suspension, liquid preparation, chewable tablet or drops for children. Dosage administration depends on doctor’s instructions but it’s normally either twice per day after a 12-hour interval or three times a day after 8 hours intervals. This medication can be taken with or without food; you can mix the liquid medication with other liquids such as water, fruit juice, milk and baby formula. Drops and liquids need to be shaken thoroughly to evenly distribute the medicine before being administered. Capsules and tablets should be taken with water while chewable tables need to be fully chewed before you swallow them. Dosage instruction should be strictly followed in accordance with a doctor’s or pharmacy instructions.
Even if you begin feeling better while still taking medication, you should complete the entire dose or the infection may reoccur. Never miss a dose or take double to make up for a missed dose. Treatment duration varies according to the type of infection and continued for a further 2-3 days after a patient feels better. Most Streptococcus pyogenic infections require at least 10 days of treatment to prevent rheumatic fever. Some infections may require several days or weeks of treatment to fully recover.
Amoxicillin Side Effects
Just like any other antibiotic you purchase, amoxicillin has a number of side effects. If your symptoms worsen, immediately consult a doctor. Serious allergic reactions to this drug are extremely rare but can occur. Common side effects include:
- Sore throat
- Stomach discomfort
- Swollen or black tongue
- Vaginal itching or discharge
- Fever that keeps worsening
Serious side effects of amoxicillin include:
- White patches in the mouth
- Dark urine
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes
- Bleeding and easy bruising
- Severe dizziness
- Difficulty in breathing
Amoxicillin may cause Clostridium difficile, a serious intestinal condition triggered by resistant bacteria. This condition often manifests long after treatment has been completed and requires urgent medical attention.
Contra-indication/Who Shouldn’t Use Amoxicillin?
Before going on medication, always alert your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic amoxicillin, antibiotics with penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics. This is because this drug may contain inactive ingredients that can trigger allergies or other medical complications. If you’ve had any kidney disease or serious viral infections in the past, you should inform your health practitioner.
Amoxicillin may interfere with the effectiveness of bacterial vaccines i.e. typhoid vaccines. Do not get any vaccinations while on medication. Before going for surgery, inform your doctor about all products you’ve been using i.e. non-prescription drugs, prescription drugs, and herbal products. Use of amoxicillin during pregnancy is not recommended, only use after your doctor has carefully analyzed the risks. Breastfeeding mothers should consult with a medic before using this drug as it gets absorbed into breast milk.
Interaction with Other Drugs
Before beginning amoxicillin medication, let your doctor know if you’re currently on any medication. This drug works extremely well with medications such as lansoprazole and clarithromycin. However, amoxicillin may not augur well with other medications and procedures such as:
- Urine glucose test
- Probenecid and allopurinol used for gout treatment
- Oral typhoid vaccine
- Anticoagulant medication such as warfarin
- Selected muscle relaxants
- Methotrexate which is used in cancer therapy
- Antibacterial medication such as tetracycline, chloramphenicol, sulfonamides, and macrolides
Negative interactions may lower the effectiveness of other drugs or increase toxicity especially when the body is unable to excrete drugs once they’ve been used.