Generic Name: amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium (am OKS i sil in KLAV yoo la nate po TAS ee um)
Brand Names: Augmentin, Augmentin ES-600, Augmentin XR
What is Augmentin?
Augmentin is a penicillin antibiotic.
Augmentin contains a combination of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium. Amoxicillin is an antibiotic in a group of drugs called penicillins. Amoxicillin fights bacteria in the body.
Clavulanate potassium is a form of clavulanic acid, which is similar to penicillin. Clavulanate potassium fights bacteria that is often resistant to penicillins and other antibiotics.
Augmentin is used to treat many different infections caused by bacteria, such as sinusitis, pneumonia, ear infections, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, and infections of the skin.
Augmentin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Augmentin
Do not use Augmentin if you are allergic to amoxicillin or clavulanate potassium, or if you have ever had liver problems caused by this medication. Do not use if you are allergic to any other penicillin antibiotic, such as amoxicillin (Amoxil, Augmentin, Dispermox, Moxatag), ampicillin (Principen, Unasyn), dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen), oxacillin (Bactocill), or penicillin (Bicillin L-A, PC Pen VK, Pfizerpen), and others.
Before taking Augmentin, tell your doctor if you have liver disease (or a history of hepatitis or jaundice), kidney disease, or mononucleosis, or if you are allergic to a cephalosporin antibiotic, such as cefdinir (Omnicef), cefprozil (Cefzil), cefuroxime (Ceftin), cephalexin (Keflex), and others.
If you switch from one tablet form to another (regular, chewable, or extended-release tablet), take only the new tablet form and strength prescribed for you. This medicine may not be as effective or could be harmful if you do not use the exact tablet form your doctor has prescribed.
Amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Augmentin can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking Augmentin.
Before taking Augmentin
Do not use Augmentin if you are allergic to amoxicillin or clavulanate potassium, or if you have ever had liver problems caused by this medication. Do not use if you are allergic to any other penicillin antibiotic, such as amoxicillin (Amoxil, Augmentin, Dispermox, Moxatag), ampicillin (Principen, Unasyn), dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen), oxacillin (Bactocill), or penicillin (Bicillin L-A, PC Pen VK, Pfizerpen)), and others.
To make sure you can safely take this medicine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- liver disease (or a history of hepatitis or jaundice);
- kidney disease;
if you are allergic to a cephalosporin antibiotic, such as cefdinir (Omnicef), cefprozil (Cefzil), cefuroxime (Ceftin), cephalexin (Keflex), and others.
FDA pregnancy category B. Augmentin is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Augmentin can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking Augmentin. Amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use Augmentin without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
See also: Augmentin pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
The liquid and chewable tablet forms of this medication may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using these forms of Augmentin if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
How should I take Augmentin?
Take Augmentin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
If you switch from one tablet form to another (regular, chewable, or extended-release tablet), take only the new tablet form and strength prescribed for you. The strength of clavulanate potassium is not the same among the different tablet forms, even though the amount of amoxicillin may be the same as in the tablet you were using before. This medicine may not be as effective or could be harmful if you do not use the exact tablet form your doctor has prescribed. Take this medicine with a full glass of water. Take the medicine at the start of a meal to reduce stomach upset.
Take the medicine at the same time each day.
The Augmentin tablet should be swallowed whole.
The Augmentin Chewable tablet must be chewed before swallowing. Do not swallow a chewable tablet whole.
Do not crush or chew the Augmentin XR (extended-release) tablet. Swallow the pill whole, or break the pill in half and take both halves one at a time. If you have trouble swallowing a whole or half pill, talk with your doctor about using another form of Augmentin. Shake the liquid form of this medicine well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Take Augmentin for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Augmentin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
Augmentin can cause false results with certain lab tests for glucose (sugar) in the urine. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Augmentin.
Store Augmentin tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Store Augmentin liquid in the refrigerator. Throw away any unused liquid after 10 days.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, skin rash, drowsiness, and hyperactivity.
What should I avoid while taking Augmentin?
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, stop taking Augmentin and call your doctor. Do not use any medicine to stop the diarrhea unless your doctor has told you to.
Augmentin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Augmentin: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it;
pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, confusion or weakness;
easy bruising or bleeding;
skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
agitation, confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior, seizure (convulsions);
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Less serious Augmentin side effects may include:
mild diarrhea, gas, stomach pain;
nausea or vomiting;
skin rash or itching;
white patches in your mouth or throat; or
vaginal yeast infection (itching or discharge).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Augmentin side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Augmentin?
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); or
another antibiotic (for the same or for a different infection).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Augmentin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More Augmentin resources
- Augmentin Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Augmentin MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Augmentin Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Augmentin ES-600 Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Augmentin ES-600 suspension MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Augmentin XR Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Augmentin XR extended-release tablets MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
Compare Augmentin with other medications
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Augmentin.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.01. Revision Date: 2/1/2011 1:37:34 PM. DDC