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Amoxicillin is used to treat infections due to organisms that are susceptible to the effects of amoxicillin. Common infections that amoxicillin is used for include infections of the middle ear, tonsils, throat, larynx (laryngitis), bronchi (bronchitis), lungs (pneumonia), urinary tract, and skin. It also is used to treat gonorrhea.
For most infections in adults the dosing regimens for amoxicillin are 250 mg every 8 hours, 500 mg every 8 hours, 500 mg every 12 hours or 875 mg every 12 hours, depending on the type and severity of infection. For the treatment of adults with gonorrhea the dose is 3 g given as one dose. For most infections, children older than 3 months but less than 40 kg are treated with 25 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours, 20 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 hours, 40 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 hours or 45 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours depending on type and severity of the infection.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Amoxicillin is an antibiotic that belongs to a class of antibiotics called penicillins. Other members of this class include ampicillin (Unasyn), piperacillin (Pipracil), ticarcillin (Ticar) and a several others. These antibiotics all have a similar mechanism of action. They do not kill bacteria, but they stop bacteria from multiplying by preventing bacteria from forming the walls that surround them. The walls are necessary to protect bacteria from their environment and to keep the contents of the bacterial cell together. Bacteria cannot survive without a cell wall. Amoxicillin is effective against many different bacteria including H. influenzae, N. gonorrhoea, E. coli, Pneumococci, Streptococci, and certain strains of Staphylococci.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, and take the rest of the day's doses at evenly spaced intervals. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the dose you missed and take the rest of the doses for the day as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Store Trimox capsules and unreconstituted powder at or below 20 degrees C (68 degrees F) and chewable tablets at room temperature 15 degrees - 30 degrees C (59-86 degrees F). Powder that has been mixed with water should be discarded after 14 days. Refrigeration is preferred but not required for powder mixed with water.
Possible Side Effects
Side effects due to amoxicillin include diarrhea, dizziness, heartburn, insomnia, nausea, itching, vomiting, confusion, abdominal pain, easy bruising, bleeding, rash and allergic reactions.
- Contact your doctor immediately if you experience severe or bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps during treatment with amoxicillin.
- If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking amoxicillin and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction (shortness of breath; closing of the throat; hives; swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; rash; or fainting);
- seizures; or
- unusual bleeding or bruising.
- Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take amoxicillin and talk to your doctor if you experience
- mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain;
- white patches on the tongue (thrush/ yeast infection);
- itching or discharge of the vagina (vaginal yeast infection);
- black, "hairy" tongue or sore mouth or tongue.
- Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.