What is Amoxicillin?
Amoxicillin, also marketed under the brand names Amoxil, Biomox and Polymox is a penicillin antibiotic medication used to treat various types of bacterial infections, such as tonsillitis, pneumonia and infections of the ear, nose, throat, skin or urinary tract. Amoxicillin is also used sometimes in combination with another antibiotic, clarithromycin (Biaxin) to treat stomach ulcers that stem from a Helicobacter pylori infection. This medication can also be used with the stomach acid reducer, lansoprazole (Prevacid).
If you or someone you know is suffering from a bacterial infection or stomach ulcer, the prescription medication Amoxicillin may be able to help. Use the below guide to help determine if this drug could be right for you, but be sure to first always consult your healthcare provider.
How Does Amoxicillin Work to Treat Infections?
As an antibiotic medication that belongs to the class of drugs called penicillins, Amoxicillin works by targeting the bacteria that caused the infection, and binding to the proteins within the bacterial cells to eliminate the bacteria as well as stop their growth.
How is Amoxicillin Taken?
It is essential that you first consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new prescription medication. Also, always be sure to carefully follow the recommendations of your health care provider, use the medication as instructed and as per the directions on the prescription label.
It is vital that you take your prescription Amoxicillin in accordance with the recommendations of your doctor. Amoxicillin is to be taken orally around the same time each day, and is usually taken every 8 or 12 hours. It is most effective when taken at regular intervals. Some forms of Amoxicillin may be taken in combination with food or without food, so check your prescription label to determine if the form of Amoxicillin you are taking can be taken with food or not. It is important to make sure you keep yourself hydrated with plenty of fluids when taking this medication unless otherwise advised by your doctor.
Even if you notice that your symptoms stop after taking Amoxicillin for a few days, you should not stop taking the medication as stopping it prematurely can encourage the bacteria that caused your infection to grow back and return.
The chewable tablet form of this medication should be chewed first before you swallow it, while the regular tablet should be swallowed whole, and not crushed, chewed or broken first.
If you are taking the oral suspension (liquid) form of the medication, the liquid should be measured with a dosing syringe, or another device specifically used to measure medicine doses. The oral suspension form of the mediation may be mixed with different beverages such as water, milk or ginger ale to allow for easier consumption. The whole mixture should be taken right away,
If you are taking Amoxicillin in combination with clarithromycin and/ or lansoprazole to treat a stomach ulcer, follow the directions of the medications as instructed by your doctor and the prescription label.
How Long Does Amoxicillin Take to Start Working?
As soon as you start taking Amoxicillin, it will begin working to kill the bacteria that caused your infection, but you may not notice any improvement in your symptoms for a few days. As mentioned earlier, continue taking the medication even if you start feeling better to ensure that the bacteria that caused your infection is fully eliminated and does not return. A normal course of Amoxicillin lasts a little over a week or a period of 7 to 10 days.
What are Possible Side Effects of Amoxicillin?
Keep in mind that if your doctor prescribed you this medication, he or she has determined that its potential benefits to you outweigh its possible risks. It is not common to experience severe side effects when taking this medication.
While taking this medication, you may experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately if you notice worsening in these side effects or if they persist for a prolonged period of time.
Taking this medication for a prolonged period of time or for repeated periods may cause the development of fungal infections such as oral thrush or vaginal yeast infections. If you notice white patches appear or your mouth or unusual discharge, consult your doctor.
Rare, severe side effects include dark urine, lasting nausea or vomiting, stomach/ abdominal pain, yellowing of the eyes or skin, easy bruising or bleeding, lasting sore throat or fever. If you experience any of these severe side effects, contact your doctor immediately.
A rare, but very serious intestinal condition can occur while taking this medication caused by the bacteria, C. difficile. Signs of this severe intestinal condition include persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/ cramping and blood or mucus in the stool. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms.
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