Amoxicillin is an antibiotic belonging to the group of penicillins and used to treat various bacterial infections. Among other things, the dosage depends on the weight of the person affected as well as on the type and location of the inflammation. As with other medicines, taking Amoxicillin can cause side effects. The most common side effects include gastrointestinal complaints. With alcohol and during pregnancy amoxicillin should not be taken.
The active substance amoxicillin in the body ensures that bacteria can not develop a protective outer shell during their growth phase. As a result, the bacteria die after a short time.
The antibiotic is used primarily to treat infections of the gastrointestinal tract and the urinary and biliary tract. It is also used in the following complaints:
- Respiratory infections such as lung or tonsillitis
- Inflammations of the ear, nose and throat, such as middle ear and sinusitis
- Inflammation of the bones
- blood poisoning
In part, amoxicillin is also prescribed for infections of the skin.
In addition to the treatment of bacterial infections, the antibiotic is also used to prevent it: In some operations, people with certain heart disease are given preventive amoxicillin. This is to prevent the passage of bacteria into the bloodstream during surgery and possibly cause inflammation of the heart.
Side effects of Amoxicillin
Amoxicillin is usually well tolerated. Since the active ingredient is absorbed relatively quickly from the intestine into the body, the intestinal flora is better protected than other antibiotics. Nevertheless, side effects can occur when taking.
Side effects in the stomach and intestine are particularly common: loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, bloating or diarrhea may occur. If persistent diarrhea occurs during or after therapy, amoxicillin-induced enteritis may be the cause. In such a case the intake should be stopped immediately and a doctor should be consulted. The treatment is then usually continued with another antibiotic. Diarrhea and vomiting also reduce the effectiveness of the antibiotic because the body can not absorb the entire dose through the intestine.
In addition to gastrointestinal complaints, side effects such as itching and rashes, dry mouth and fever are common. Occasionally, taking amoxicillin may also cause kidney inflammation, laryngeal swelling, angioedema and changes in the blood count.
On the other hand, side effects such as severe skin rashes, water retention in the tissue, or peeling rash addiction, which can lead to the loss of hair and fingernails, rarely occur.
Dosage of Amoxicillin
Amoxicillin is usually given in the form of tablets, effervescent tablets or dry juice. But the antibiotic can also be injected: This is always necessary if the administration of juice or tablets is not sufficient, for example, in meningitis or blood poisoning.
Amoxicillin is available in different dosages: For example, 250, 500, 750 or 1000 milligrams tablets are available from the pharmacy. The exact dosage of Amoxicillin should always be clarified with the attending physician. The best way to take the antibiotic together with a meal, since it is then better tolerated, but in its effect is not affected.
As a rule, amoxicillin is taken over a period of seven to ten days. The dosage of the antibiotic depends, among other things, on the age and weight of the person as well as the location, type and severity of the infection. It is important to keep the drug level in the blood as constant as possible: If amoxicillin is taken twice a day, the intervals between the earnings should be twelve hours, with three times daily intake eight hours.
Depending on the disease, adults receive between 1, 500 and 3, 000 milligrams of amoxicillin per day. Children weighing less than 40 kilograms should receive between 50 and 100 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day, but no more than 2, 000 milligrams per day. The exact dosage should be agreed with the attending physician just as in adults. In children, careful oral hygiene is particularly important during ingestion, as it may otherwise lead to tooth discoloration.
Amoxicillin and alcohol
Alcohol should be avoided while taking Amoxicillin - as well as any other antibiotic. Although the package leaflets do not always explicitly warn against interactions, the consumption of alcohol during antibiotics may cause side effects.
Many antibiotics are - like alcohol - broken down by the liver. Since this is primarily concerned with the degradation of the antibiotic, alcohol usually acts faster and more vigorously. In addition, by alcohol but also the degradation of amoxicillin is hindered. The active ingredient can thus no longer be broken down fast enough, but accumulates in the liver. This can cause damage to the organ.
Amoxicillin, on the other hand, is largely eliminated via the kidney. Nevertheless, it is not recommended to consume alcohol while taking Amoxicillin. Because of the bacterial infection, the body is already weakened anyway - by alcohol, he is additionally burdened. In addition, due to side effects, amoxicillin may affect the ability to react, and thus the use of machinery, as well as driving vehicles. In conjunction with alcohol, this effect is exacerbated.
Amoxicillin during pregnancy
Amoxicillin should only be used during pregnancy if the attending physician strongly recommends the use of the drug. So far, the antibiotic has neither harmful effects on the unborn child in animal experiments nor in the treatment of humans. However, in a single study, neonatal children were at increased risk for enteritis.
Even during breast-feeding, amoxicillin should only be taken after a detailed risk-benefit assessment. The active ingredient passes into the breast milk and can cause damage to the intestinal flora of the child in this way. Therefore, it is recommended to stop taking the antibiotic before taking it.
Amoxicillin: interactions and contraindications
If liver or kidney function is impaired, amoxicillin should only be taken in proportionally lower doses. In addition, organ function and blood counts must be monitored at regular intervals while taking the antibiotic. This is especially true for long-term use of amoxicillin.
For women taking the birth control pill, amoxicillin may reduce absorption from the intestines and thus reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive. For a safe pregnancy protection, therefore, the additional use of a non-hormonal contraceptive is necessary.
Antibiotics that inhibit the growth of bacteria should not be taken concomitantly with amoxicillin, as the two antibiotics may otherwise interfere with their effectiveness. Certain gout remedies may potentiate the effects of amoxicillin while diuretics reduce them. Amoxicillin itself may enhance the effects of certain anticoagulants and cardiac glycosides. If you take any of these medicines, you should definitely tell the doctor.
As with all other penicillins, taking amoxicillin may lead to an allergic reaction, including anaphylactic shock. Therefore, the antibiotic must not be taken in case of penicillin hypersensitivity. Such hypersensitivity is particularly common in allergy sufferers and asthmatics. However, people who also have a viral infection (for example, glandular fever) or chronic lymphocytic leukemia also increase the risk of an allergic reaction.