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What is amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is a penicillin-based antibiotic and is a close relative of ampicillin. It can kill bacteria like the Streptococcus species, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Actinomyces, Shigella, Salmonella, and Clostridial species. This antibiotic belongs to a specific class of beta-lactam drugs.

Amoxicillin works by inhibiting specific bacterial cells. The proteins function to bind and break down bacterial walls. This process is called bactericidal killing.

The different brand names that amoxicillin is available under are Amoxil, Moxatag, and Trimox.

What are the uses of amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is used to treat:

  • Pneumonia
  • Tonsillitis
  • Bronchitis
  • Ear infections
  • Nose infections
  • Dental pain
  • Bacterial pharyngitis
  • Skin infections
  • Genitourinary tract infections
  • Bacterial rhinosinusitis

Apart from the above FDA-approved usage, amoxicillin is also prescribed in off-label uses like infectious endocarditis. In dental practice, amoxicillin is used in combination with metronidazole to treat periodontitis (gum disease). In combination with clarithromycin and lansoprazole, it has been beneficial to prevent H. pylori infections.

Amoxicillin is thus the first choice of drug for the prevention of local wound infections and distant infections.

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What are the side effects of amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin’s side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Weakness or tiredness
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Skin rash
  • Vaginal yeast infection
  • Breathing problems
  • Allergic reactions like itching or swelling of the face
  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Blister formations on the skin
  • Difficulty in urinating

All the side effects mentioned above will not necessarily be seen on everyone. A few individuals may show signs and symptoms, while others may not. If the listed effects do not disappear soon, check with your doctor at the earliest.

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FAQ's

1. Is amoxicillin safe in pregnancy?

FDA has categorized amoxicillin as a pregnancy category B drug. Thus, amoxicillin is safe to be taken during pregnancy. The B category is relevant for helping doctors to understand if the drug has the potential to cause congenital disabilities in children. The studies revealed that amoxicillin causes no risk to pregnant ladies.

2. Is amoxicillin good for urinary tract infections?

Amoxicillin is actively used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). It works by stopping the growth of bacteria in the urine. It is advisable to take the pill twice or thrice a day. Usually, you will start feeling better within a few days of taking the antibiotic. In case you do not observe any improvement, talk to your doctor for an alternative antibiotic or increase of dosage. Do not self-medicate.

3. Can amoxicillin treat cough?

Studies have recently concluded that amoxicillin offers no benefit if taken to treat cough or reduce its symptoms. Most of the lower respiratory tract diseases are caused by viruses. Therefore, the efficacy of antibiotics does not come into play here. Overuse of antibiotics will lead to bacteria becoming resistant to them later. It is advised to take medication only under the surveillance of a doctor.

4. Can amoxicillin treat hemorrhoids?

Infected hemorrhoids need medical attention. Antibiotics are suitable to treat such disorders. However, doctors prefer to prescribe doxycycline in cases of hemorrhoids. Your physician will evaluate your condition thoroughly to select a suitable antibiotic for you. It will depend upon the severity of your condition and reactions to certain medicines.

5. Can I buy amoxicillin without a prescription?

Antibiotics like amoxicillin resolve a wide array of health issues. However, without consulting a medical practitioner and without a prescription, consuming these drugs may adversely affect your health. Discuss your medical history, specific allergies, any drug allergies, and any other medications you are using with your physician before taking amoxicillin.

6. Can I drink coffee while taking amoxicillin?

Caffeine reacts with 55 drugs! A few studies, such as one in 2008, have revealed that the benefits of amoxicillin were accelerated when taken along with caffeine. However, these studies have not been widely accepted. So although, there are no adverse reactions in co-administering them, a doctor's consultation is a must before starting any antibiotic.

7. Is amoxicillin a good antibiotic for pneumonia?

Amoxicillin is the preferred drug for pneumonia. It is highly effective in its treatment, and people have recovered entirely after taking this drug. However, if you are allergic to penicillin or amoxicillin, you must pass this information to your doctor. The doctor will then prescribe an alternative antibiotic to you.

8. Is amoxicillin good for sore throat?

For treating sore throat, it is essential to know the type of pathogen responsible for the infection. Viruses cause ninety percent of sore throats, which antibiotics cannot treat. But amoxicillin can effectively treat sore throat that has resulted due to a bacterial infection. Do not self-medicate and consult a doctor to determine the type of infection.

9. What drugs interact with amoxicillin?

Interactions with other drugs may hinder the effectiveness of amoxicillin. The right combination can cure you, while the wrong ones can increase the side effects. Therefore, consulting an expert is a must. The drugs that interact with amoxicillin are:

  • Anticoagulants
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Probenecid
  • Other antibiotics like tetracycline, macrolides, and sulfonamides
  • Allopurinol

10. Can amoxicillin be used for fever?

Amoxicillin is not effective in treating fever. Because it is an antibiotic, it cannot treat cold, flu, and other viral infections. Taking antibiotics unnecessarily may increase your risk of acquiring antibiotic-resistant infections. Fever may be a cause of viral infection. Talk to your doctor to know which infection has caused you the fever before taking any medications.
Always get a medical opinion before starting any medications. For top-notch medical assistance, contact our team of experts at Yashoda Hospital.

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