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Amoxicillin

Author: Tina Lien, Pharmacist , MedSchoolForParents.com Editor
 
What is it used for ? 
 
Treatment of an infection of a bacterial origin, including pneumonia, bronchitis, ear, lung, skin infections and urinary tract infections. It is also used as part of a combination treatment for the elimination of H. pylori (associated with peptic ulcer).
  • In children, Amoxicillin is the drug-of-choice for throat “Strep” infection (streptococci group A).
  • In many countries, Amoxicillin is also the drug-of-choice for ear infections.
  • In many communities Amoxicillin was used to treat urinary tract infection (UTI) in children, but the frequent use of the antibiotic resulted in resistance of many bacteria. Therefore, speak with your doctor about the choice of antibiotics for UTIs.
 
How does it work ?
 
Amoxicillin is a penicillin-like antibiotic that can destroy bacteria by disrupting the formation of its cell wall components.
 
 
Side Effects
 
All medications can cause some side effects. Usually these side effects are mild in nature, but for some people, they may be serious.
 
Amoxicillin is generally safe for children. If your child has previous allergies to penicillin or other penicillin-like antibiotics, avoid using the medication. Common side effects for amoxicillin are upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. If your child is experiencing allergic reactions to the medication, such as severe skin rash, difficulty breathing and wheezing, please stop taking the medication and consult your doctor immediately.
 
  1. Family history of allergy to Amoxicillin does not necessarily mean that your child will have an allergic reaction, so it's not a reason not to try the drug first.
  2. Some children that are allergic to Amoxicillin may also be allergic to another group of antibiotics – the cephalosporins. Yes, there is no reason to avoid cephalosporin just because there is a small chance of “cross reactivity”.    

 

Drug Interactions
 
Amoxicillin can interact with tetracycline antibiotics, which includes Tetracycline, Doxycycline, and Minocycline. The use of such drugs together can decrease the effect of Amoxicillin in the body. Tell your doctor and pharmacist any prescription and non-prescription medications your child is taking.
 
 
 
What every parent should know
 
  1. Amoxicillin is generally safe for children. Please follow the directions from your doctor or pharmacist.
  2. Continue to give Amoxicillin to your child even if you think your child is feeling better. Don’t stop giving the medication without consulting your doctor.
  3. Do not give the medication to your child if your child has confirmed allergies to penicillin and penicillin-like antibiotics in the past. If allergic symptoms develop throughout treatment, stop the medicine and contact your doctor immediately.
  4. Amoxicillin can be taken with or without food. Taking with food can decrease stomach upset.
  5. Amoxicillin comes in different dosage forms, including capsules and suspension. Make sure to shake the suspension well before administering.
  6. Suspensions can be kept under room temperature for 7 days or in the fridge for 14 days. Do not freeze the medication.
 
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have further questions on the use of amoxicillin for your child.
 
Updated 03/08/2017

 

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