What is Amoxicillin?
Amoxicillin (Amoxil) is an antibiotic. It contains the active ingredient amoxicillin, a penicillin antibiotic type of medication, which is one of the most widely used treatments for bacterial infection. Amoxicillin works by interfering with the ability of bacteria to form cell walls. The cell walls of bacteria are vital for their survival. As a result, the bacteria die off and the infection clears up. The advantage of Amoxicillin is that it is also suitable for use in children and pregnant women.
What is Amoxicillin used for?
Amoxicillin (Amoxil) is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that kills a wide variety of bacteria that cause a wide variety of commonly-occurring infections. It can therefore be used to treat many different infections such as:
- Respiratory infections such as bronchitis, middle ear infection, sinus infection, pneumonia, laryngitis;
- Lyme's disease;
- STDs such as chlamydia;
- Gastrointestinal infections;
- Skin infections;
- Bladder infection.
Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections. If your symptoms are due to a viral infection or different cause, antibiotics will not help, and therefore will not be prescribed.
How to use Amoxicillin
Amoxicillin (Amoxil) comes in multiple forms, including dispersible tablets and capsules. The dispersible tablets should be dissolved in a half a glass of water, stirred well and drunk immediately. The capsules should be swallowed whole, without chewing, with plenty of liquid. It is important to finish the entire course, even if you feel better. If you have missed a dose, you may take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. In this case, you should take the missed dose at the end of the course, so that you do not skip any tablets or capsules.
Amoxicillin is available in various strengths (250 mg and 500 mg). Strength, duration and dosage should be determined by a doctor based on the symptoms. The usual dose in adults and children weighing more than 40 kilos is: 500 mg, two to three times a day. You should aim to spread the doses evenly and take the tablets at approximately the same time every day. For children weighing less than 40 kilos the appropriate dose is determined by a doctor.
Like all medicines, Amoxicillin can have side effects. In some cases, it has been reported to cause:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, diarrhoea, stomach ache);
- Skin irritation and itching. Consult your doctor if you have these symptoms;
- Yeast infection of the mouth or vagina.
For a complete list of side effects, see the package leaflet. Consult a doctor if the side effects are bothersome or if you have side effects that are not listed here.
When not to use Amoxicillin
Amoxicillin (Amoxil) is not suitable for everyone and should not be used if:
- you are allergic to amoxicillin or other penicillin antibiotics.
Consult a doctor on the use of Amoxicillin (Amoxil) if you have a kidney disorder or other serious ailment. Amoxicillin may interact with other medicines, including certain anticoagulants. It is therefore important to tell the doctor what other medicines you are taking when you order.
Amoxicillin can be used safely during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, provided the dose is not exceeded. This medicine does not interact with alcohol or affect your ability to drive safely.