Ampicillin is an antibiotic in the penicillin group of drugs. It fights bacteria in your body. Ampicillin is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria, such as ear infections, bladder infections, pneumonia, gonorrhea, and E. coli or salmonella infection.
Use Ampicillin as directed by your doctor.
Take Ampicillin by mouth at least one-half hour before or 2 hours after eating.
Take Ampicillin with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL).
Take Ampicillin on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Taking Ampicillin at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
To clear up your infection completely, use Ampicillin for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Ampicillin.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Ampicillin is a penicillin antibiotic. It works by killing sensitive bacteria by interfering with formation of the bacteria's cell wall while it is growing. This weakens the cell wall and it ruptures resulting in the death of the bacteria.
If you miss a dose of Ampicillin and are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Store Ampicillin at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep in a tight, light-resistant container. Keep Ampicillin out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Possible Side Effects
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
inflammation and redness of the tongue; irritation of mouth or throat; mild diarrhea; nausea; second infection; vomiting.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody stools; severe diarrhea; stomach pain/cramps; vaginal irritation or discharge.
Ampicillin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
Ampicillin - contraindications, warnings and precautions
Do not use Ampicillin if:
you are allergic to any ingredient in Ampicillin or any other penicillin antibiotic (e.g., amoxicillin).
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Ampicillin only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold).
Be sure to use Ampicillin for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
Long-term or repeated use of Ampicillin may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
Hormonal birth control (e.g., birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using Ampicillin. To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (e.g., condoms)
Diabetes patients - Ampicillin may cause the results of some tests for urine glucose to be wrong. Ask your doctor before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetes medicine.
Lab tests, including white blood cell counts and kidney function tests, may be performed while you use Ampicillin. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Ampicillin while you are pregnant. Ampicillin is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Ampicillin, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
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