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Amoxicillin

Updated 04.04.2022
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Amoxicillin is a type of antibiotic from the penicillin family. It is used in adults, children and infants to treat a range of different bacterial infections such as chest infections, sinusitis, tonsilitis, dental abscesses, ear infections and Lyme disease. It can come in capsules, oral suspension, oral powder sachet and injection formulations. Amoxicillin is only available on prescription. Amoxil is a branded version of amoxicillin.

How do I take it?

Your doctor will prescribe a specific dose of amoxicillin, adapted for children and the condition treated. Make sure you space the doses evenly throughout the day and it is important that you finish the full course of treatment prescribed by your doctor, even if your symptoms have gone away. Oral suspensions will be made up by your pharmacist and should be stored in the fridge, it is important to shake the bottle well before use to evenly disperse the medicine. For oral powder sachets, you should add 10 to 20ml water to the powder and shake until a suspension is formed, and drink it straight away. Amoxicillin can interfere with certain urine and blood tests so if you are getting any tests done, make sure the healthcare professional carrying out the test is aware you are taking amoxicillin.

How does it work?

Amoxicillin kills bacteria by affecting the cell wall of the bacteria.

Who should not take the medication?

Like all medications, don’t take them if you have previously had an allergic reaction to the medication, or if you have other medications or medical conditions where you would normally discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before starting something new. As amoxicillin is only available on prescription, your doctor will prescribe it for you if they feel it would be beneficial. Be sure to let your doctor know if you have had a reaction or allergy to any of the penicillin family of medications before.

Are there any side effects?

As with any medications, some people are bound to get some unwanted side effects. Some of the common ones include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Let your doctor know if any of these occur. Amoxicillin suspensions can stain your teeth so you should brush your teeth shortly after taking the medicine to avoid this.

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