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Why it's used

Amoxicillin is used to treat certain bacterial infections. These include bacterial infections of the ear, nose, or throat, infections of the reproductive organs or urinary system infections such as UTI, and skin or respiratory system infections including pneumonia. Amoxicillin is also used to treat bacterial infections in other parts of the body including in teeth from a dental abscess, in the joints, in the blood or heart, and bacterial infections in the brain or the spinal cord caused by bacterial meningitis. Amoxicillin is also used to treat tick-borne bacterial infections, also called as, Lyme disease. It is a prescription medicine. This medicine works by preventing growth of bacteria in the body.
Amoxicillin may also be taken in combination with other medicines to treat certain conditions as recommended by the doctor. Amoxicillin is used together with Clarithromycin, or Lansoprazole to treat infections caused by bacteria (Helicobacter pylori) and duodenal ulcer disease. This combination is used to reduce bacterial resistance and to maintain the effectiveness of Amoxicillin. Amoxicillin is also used alone with lansoprazole in the patient cannot use clarithromycin.
When not to use
Amoxicillin will not work against viral infections. Also, this medicine should be used only to treat infections that are proven to be caued by bacteria or strongly suspected to be caused by bacteria.
Penicillin-class Antibacterial
Amoxicillin belongs to a class of medicines called Penicillin-class Antibacterial. Penicillin are a group of antibiotics that are used to treat and prevent different type of bacterial infections.

How to use

Read the directions on the product label, patient guide, or medicine guide provided by the medicine company or your pharmacist before starting to use Amoxicillin. If you have any questions related to this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Use this medicine as recommended by your doctor.
Amoxicillin is used with or without food.
The typical dose of Amoxicillin is 250-500 mg every 8 hours or 500-875 mg in 12 hours depending on the severity of the infection. The usual dose for children is 20-40 mg/kg/day (9.09-18.18 mg/lb/day) in a divided dose every 8 hours or 25-45 mg/kg/day (11.36-20.45 mg/lb/day) in a divided dose every 12 hours depending on the patients condition. This medicine is typically used for a period of 2-3 days till after the symptoms of the infection disappear for bacterial infections. This medicine is not known to be habit-forming.
This medicine should be used on an as-needed basis. You should continue to use this medicine as directed by the doctor even if you feel well.
Talk to your doctor if you develop new symptoms. Tell your doctor if watery and bloody stools, stomach cramps, and fever. If you have any kidney disease, a low dose should be taken up to 250-500 mg every 24 hours. It depends on the severity of the infection.
If you are giving Amoxicillin to a child, be sure to use a product that is meant for children. Before giving this medicine to a child, use the child's weight or age to find the right dose from the product package. You can also read the dosage section of this page to know the correct dose for your child. Else, consult with your doctor and follow their recommendation.
If you are using the chewable tablet form of this medicine, make sure you chew the medicine before you swallow it.
When using this medicine in the injection form, it should be given through veins. The injection is injected or infused slowly into the veins over a period of 3-4 minutes. Infusion in the veins should be given over a period of 30-60 minutes. Injection in the muscles only be given in those patients where injection in the veins is not possible. Add water for the injection and shake vigorously. For vein infusion preparation, add solution for vein injection to in-line burette or in a minibag over 30-60 minutes. Alternatively the vein injection solution may be transferred from the infusion bag into the vial by using a device, and then drawn back into the bag after dissolution.
If using the liquid form of this medicine, measure the dose using the provided measuring cup, spoon, or dropper. Before pouring the medicine into the measuring device, you should check the measurement markings carefully. Then, pour the dose amount into the device. After use, clean and store the measuring device in a safe place for your next use. You should not use a tablespoon or teaspoon as the dose measuring devices since it can result in an incorrect dose. If indicated on the product package, shake the medicine before use.
Your doctor may request that specific lab tests be performed before you start using Amoxicillin. You may need to have Antibiotic Susceptibility test. This test is required to determine the specific bacterial infection.
You should store Amoxicillin at or below 25°C (77° F), away from moisture, and away from light. Store the medicine away from the reach of children and pets.
Medicines may be prescribed for uses other than those listed in the medicine guide. Do not use Amoxicillin for conditions for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Amoxicillin to other people who might have the same conditions or symptoms that you have. Self-medication may harm them.

How to take Amoxicillin

The dose and frequency of using Amoxicillin will depend on the following factors:
  • age of the patient
  • the weight of the patient
  • patient's health
  • the health of the patient's liver

Amoxicillin Dosage

Dosage for mild to moderate infections of the ear, nose, and throat

Adult
  • Recommended: 250 mg every 8 hours or 500 mg every 12 hours orally

Dosage for severe infections of the ear, nose, and throat

Adult
  • Recommended: 500 mg every 8 hours or 875 mg every 12 hours orally and 750 mg - 2000 mg every 8 hours or 2000 mg every 12 hours (injection)

Dosage for mild to moderate infections of the skin

Adult
  • Recommended: 250 mg every 8 hours or 500 mg every 12 hours orally

Dosage for severe infections of the skin

Adult
  • Recommended: 500 mg every 8 hours or 875 every 12 hours orally

Dosage for mild to moderate genital and urinary tract infection

Adult
  • Recommended: 250 mg every 8 hours or 500 mg every 12 hours orally

Dosage for severe genital and urinary tract infection

Adult
  • Recommended: 500 mg every 8 hours or 875 mg every 12 hours orally

Dosage for lower respiratory tract infection

Adult
  • Recommended: 500 mg every 8 hours or 875 mg every 12 hours orally and 750 mg to 2000 mg every 8 hours or 2000 mg every 12 hours (injection)
  • Maximum: 12000 mg/day (injection)

Dosage for artificial joint infections

Adult
  • Recommended: 750 mg to 2000 mg every 8 hours or 2000 mg every 12 hours (injection)
  • Maximum: 12000 mg/day (injection)

Dosage for prevention of heart infection

Adult
  • Recommended: 2000 mg single dose 30 to 60 minutes before the operation (injection)

Dosage for heart infection

Adult
  • Recommended: 1000 mg to 2000 mg every 4 to 6 hours (injection)
  • Maximum: 12000 mg/day (injection)

Dosage for inflammation of the brain and spinal cord membranes caused by the bacterial infection

Adult
  • Recommended: 1000 mg to 2000 mg every 4 to 6 hours (injection)
  • Maximum: 12000 mg/day (injection)

Dosage for bacterial infection caused by a tick bite (also called Lyme disease)

Adult
  • Recommended: 2000 mg every 8 hours in the late stage of the disease (injection)

Dosage for bacterial blood infection

Adult
  • Recommended: 1000 mg to 2000 mg every 4 to 8 hours (injection)
  • Maximum: 12000 mg/day (injection)

Children and Older Adults

View dosage instructions for children and older adults from the dosage for Amoxicillin page.

Dosage calculation for children

To calculate the dosage for children please use the weight based dose calculator to calculate the appropriate dosage as per the weight of your child.

Forms

Capsule
Strength: 250 mg, 500 mg
Oral Suspension
Strength: 125 mg/5 mL, 200 mg/5 mL, 250 mg/5 mL, 400 mg/5 mL
Powder for Injection
Strength: 50 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg
Tablet
Strength: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg, 500 mg, 775 mg, 875 mg

Missed Dose

Talk to your doctor if you miss a dose of Amoxicillin.

Overdose

What to do if you overdose on Amoxicillin?
In case of overdosage, discontinue the medicine, treat the symptoms and provide supportive measures. Also, adequate fluid intake and increased urination should be maintained. Amoxicillin can be removed from the blood by artificial blood purifying technique (hemodialysis). The openness of the tube should be regularly checked in patients having a thin tube inserted into the bladder.
Symptoms of an overdose of Amoxicillin
If you use too much of this medicine, it could lead to dangerous levels of the medicine in your body. In such cases, symptoms of an overdose may include:
If you think you have overdosed on Amoxicillin, call a poison control center immediately. You can look up the poison control center information from the Poison Center Finder at TabletWise.com.

Precautions while using Amoxicillin

Before you use Amoxicillin, discuss with your doctor if you are allergic to it or its ingredients. Your doctor may prescribe an alternative medicine and update your medical records to record this information. Tell your doctor if you are allergic any of the following substances: penicillin antibiotics, or cephalosporin.
Before you use Amoxicillin, tell your doctor of your medical and health history including the following: viral fever (also called glandular fever), kidney related health problems, urinary problem, heart disease or history of heart failure, sore throat, cancer of white blood cells, or HIV.
Amoxicillin can make you feel sleepy. Be careful when using any machinery, driving a vehicle, or doing any other activity that needs you to be fully alert. The consumption of alcohol with Amoxicillin can worsen the sleepiness. Amoxicillin may cause rarely seizures in some people. If you perform any activities where a loss of consciousness may cause harm to you (or others), you should discuss with your doctor.
The use of Amoxicillin during pregnancy should only be when required. No adequate and well-controlled studies of Amoxicillin have been done in pregnant women. It should be used during pregnancy only if needed. Consult with your doctor on the use of Amoxicillin during breastfeeding. This medicine can pass into breast milk and may affect the babies that cause diarrhea and fungal infection. Consult with your doctor on the use of Amoxicillin, if you are trying to conceive. There are no known effects on fertility when using this medicine. Its best to discuss with your doctor if you are having fertility related issues.
Amoxicillin may cause increased incidence of side-effects in older patients.

Amoxicillin Side-effects

The following side-effects may commonly occur when using Amoxicillin. If any of these side-effects worsen or last for a long time, you should consult with your doctor:
Rarely, the use of Amoxicillin may cause the following side-effects:
  • abnormally active
  • behavioral changes
  • black hairy tongue
  • dizziness
  • hives
  • itching of the skin
  • sleeplessness
  • sore mouth or tongue
  • tooth discoloration (brown, yellow, or gray staining)
  • yeast infection of mouth, skin and nails
The following severe side-effects may also occur when using Amoxicillin:
  • Severe skin reactions due to allergy (possibly fatal)
    If this happens, immediate emergency treatment with supportive measures should be given to the patient.
  • Blood disorders (prolongation of the bleeding time)
  • Kidney and urinary tract disorders
    Symptoms: cloudy urine
  • Brain disorders (possibly fatal)
    Symptoms: dizziness and convulsions
  • Immune system disorders
    Symptoms: accumulation of fluid under the skin and life-threatening allergic reaction
  • Diarrhea associated with bacteria Clostridium difficile (can be possibly fatal)
    Symptoms: diarrhea
    If this occurs, the ongoing antibiotic use may need to be discontinued. Also, suitable fluid and electrolytes, protein supplements, antibiotic treatment, and surgical evaluation should be given to such patients.
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Symptoms: hallucinations
  • Decrease in potassium level
Your doctor has prescribed Amoxicillin because they judge that the benefit is greater than the risk posed by side-effects. Many people using this medicine do not have serious side-effects. This page does not list all possible side-effects of Amoxicillin.
If you experience side-effects or notice other side-effects not listed above, contact your doctor for medical advice. You may also report side-effects to your local food and drug administration authority. You can look up the drug authority contact information from the Drug Authority Finder at TabletWise.com.

Warnings

Cloudy urine

Patients with reduced urine output and bladder catheters are at an increased risk when using this medicine. These patients may suffer from cloudy urine. It is advised to maintain urinary output and adequate fluid intake to reduce the chances of cloudy urine. In patients with bladder catheters, a regular checkup is recommended.

Kidney dysfunction

Patients with kidney dysfunction are at an increased risk when using this medicine. In such patients, the dose should be adjusted according to the condition.

Skin reactions

Patients using Amoxicillin are at an increased risk of developing serious skin reactions. If this happens, stop using this medicine.

Lyme disease

Patients with a bacterial infection caused by a tick bite (Lyme disease) are at an increased risk when using this medicine. These patients may suffer from allergic reactions called Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction.

Prolonged therapy

Patients at prolonged therapy with Amoxicillin are at an increased risk. These patients may develop changes in blood count and increase in liver enzymes. In such patients, monitoring of blood cells production, kidney and liver function is required.

Blood thinners

Patients using blood thinners are at an increased risk when using this medicine. In these patients, blood clotting time is increased. The dose adjustment of blood thinners is required.

Antibacterial drugs

Patients using antibacterial drugs including Amoxicillin are at an increased risk. These patients may suffer from diarrhea associated with Clostridium difficile bacteria that can lead to severe inflammation of the colon. If this happens, stop using this medicine and take antibiotics, protein supplements or maintain the balance of body fluid and electrolyte. If necessary, surgical evaluation should be done.

Development of drug resistant bacteria

Amoxicillin is not likely to provide benefit unless the patient uses it to treat a bacterial infection. Otherwise, the risk of developing drug-resistant bacteria is increased by the use of Amoxicillin.

Patients with viral infection

Patients with viral infection (also called mononucleosis) caused by Epstein-Barr virus are at increased risk when using this medicine. These patients may suffer from skin rash. It is advised that Amoxicillin should not be used in these patients.

Birth defect called phenylketonuria

Patients with increased phenylalanine levels in the body are at an increased risk when using chewable tablets of Amoxicillin. The chewable tablets should not be used in these patients if it contains phenylalanine. The oral suspension of Amoxicillin can be used in these patients because it does not contain phenylalanine.

History of seizures, epilepsy, or brain and spinal cord disorders

Patients using Amoxicillin in high doses and have a history of seizures, epilepsy, or brain and spinal cord disorders are at an increased risk. These patients may suffer from seizures.

Interactions with Amoxicillin

When two or more medicines are taken together, it can change how the medicines work and increase the risk of side-effects. In medical terms, this is called as a Drug Interaction.
Amoxicillin interacts with allopurinol, which is used to treat gout. There is an increase in the incidence of rashes in patients receiving these drugs together.
There may be an interaction of Amoxicillin with oral anticoagulants, which help by preventing the formation of blood clot. When Amoxicillin is used with oral anticoagulants, increase in prothrombin time has been reported which results in the increase in the bleeding time. The patient should be monitored when this medicine is taken in combination with anticoagulants. The adjustment in the dose of oral anticoagulants may also be necessary.
Amoxicillin may interact with probenecid, which is used to treat gout. When Amoxicillin is used with probenecid, it may increase the level of Amoxicillin in the blood. The combined use of probenecid with this medicine is not recommended.
Your doctor's guidelines may need to be followed while taking this medicine along with antibacterials, which are used to treat bacterial infection. The antibacterials such as macrolides, tetracyclines sulfonamides and chloramphenicol may interfere with the effectiveness of Amoxicillin.
Special instructions need to be followed while taking this medicine along with oral contraceptives, which are used to prevent pregnancy. When Amoxicillin is used with oral contraceptives, it may effect microorganisms present in the digestive tract. This results in decreased estrogen reabsorption and thus reduces the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.
Special instructions need to be followed while taking this medicine along with oestriol, which is a female sex hormone. When Amoxicillin is taken by pregnant women, a decrease in the level of estrogens in the blood has been noted.
Amoxicillin interacts with Benedict’s solution or Fehling’s solution. The presence of high levels of Amoxicillin in the urine may results in false-positive reactions while performing glucose testing. Glucose tests based on enzymatic glucose oxidase reactions are recommended.
There may be an interaction of Amoxicillin with methotrexate, which is mainly used to treat cancer. Amoxicillin may reduce the excretion of methotrexate which results in its increased level in the blood.
Amoxicillin may interact with tetracyclines, which are used to treat infections. Tetracyclines and other antibacterial drugs may interfere with the effectiveness of Amoxicillin.
This page does not contain all the possible interactions of Amoxicillin. Share a list of all medicines that you use with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any medicines without the approval of your doctor.

Traveling With Medication

  • Ensure that you carry enough doses of each of your prescription medicines to last the entire trip. The best place to store your medicines is in the carry on baggage. However, while flying, if carrying liquid medicines, make sure you do not go over the limits imposed for carry-on liquids.
  • While traveling overseas, make sure that you can carry each of your prescription medicines legally to your destination country. One way to ensure this is by checking with your destination country's embassy or website.
  • Make sure that you carry each of your medicines in their original packaging, which should typically include your name and address, and the details of the prescribing doctor.
  • If your travel involves crossing time zones, and you are required to take your medicine as per a fixed schedule, make sure that you adjust for the change in time.

Expired Medication

Taking a single dose of expired Amoxicillin is unlikely to cause a side-effect. However, please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, if you feel unwell or sick. An expired medicine may become ineffective in treating your prescribed conditions. To be on the safe side, it is important not to use an expired drug. You are much safer by always keeping a fresh supply of unexpired medicines.

Safe Disposal of Medication

  • If there are disposal instructions on the package, please follow the instructions.
  • If there are medicine take-back programs in your country, you should contact the respective authority to arrange for the disposal of the medicine. For example, in the USA, the Drug Enforcement Administration regularly hosts National Prescription Drug Take-Back events.
  • If there are no take-back programs, mix the medicine with dirt and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Throw the plastic bag in your household trash. Separately, remove all personal information including the prescription label from the medicine packaging and then dispose off the container.
  • If specifically indicated on the medicine package that it needs to be flushed down the toilet when no longer needed, perform the required step.

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