Allergies? Get expert advice on treating severe allergies and anaphylaxis.

amoxicillin

Pronunciation

Generic Name: amoxicillin (am OX i sil in)
Brand Name: Moxatag, ...show all 9 brand names

What is amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is a penicillin antibiotic. It fights bacteria in your body.

Amoxicillin is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria, such as ear infections, bladder infections, pneumonia, gonorrhea, and E. coli or salmonella infection. Amoxicillin is also sometimes used together with another antibiotic called clarithromycin (Biaxin) to treat stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori infection. This combination is sometimes used with a stomach acid reducer called lansoprazole (Prevacid).

Amoxicillin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about amoxicillin?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to amoxicillin or to any other penicillin antibiotic, such as ampicillin (Principen, Unasyn), dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen), oxacillin (Bactocill), or penicillin (Bicillin L-A, PC Pen VK, Pfizerpen), and others.

Before using amoxicillin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to cephalosporins such as Omnicef, Cefzil, Ceftin, Keflex, and others. Also tell your doctor if you have asthma, liver or kidney disease, a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, mononucleosis (also called "mono"), or any type of allergy.

Video: COPD

How COPD differs from asthma, and why it's so important to not smoke.

Amoxicillin can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom or diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking amoxicillin.

Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Amoxicillin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Do not share this medication with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop taking amoxicillin and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking amoxicillin?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to amoxicillin or to any other penicillin antibiotic, such as:

  • 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 amoxicillin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs (especially cephalosporins such as Omnicef, Cefzil, Ceftin, Keflex, and others), or if you have any of these other conditions:

  • asthma;

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • mononucleosis (also called "mono");

  • a history of diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics; or

  • a history of any type of allergy.

FDA pregnancy category B. Amoxicillin is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Amoxicillin 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 amoxicillin.

Amoxicillin 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.

The amoxicillin chewable tablet may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of amoxicillin if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

How should I take amoxicillin?

Take 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.

You may take amoxicillin with or without food.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-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.

You may place the liquid directly on the tongue, or you may mix it with water, milk, baby formula, fruit juice, or ginger ale. Drink all of the mixture right away. Do not save any for later use.

The chewable tablet should be chewed before you swallow it.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

To be sure this medicine is helping your condition and is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your liver and kidney function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

If you are being treated for gonorrhea, your doctor may also have you tested for syphilis, another sexually transmitted disease.

If you are taking amoxicillin with clarithromycin and/or lansoprazole to treat stomach ulcer, use all of your medications as directed. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice.

Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Amoxicillin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Do not share this medication with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using amoxicillin.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

You may store liquid amoxicillin in a refrigerator but do not allow it to freeze. Throw away any liquid amoxicillin that is not used within 14 days after it was mixed at the pharmacy.

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 symptoms may include confusion, behavior changes, a severe skin rash, urinating less than usual, or seizure (black-out or convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking amoxicillin?

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop taking amoxicillin and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Amoxicillin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;

  • fever, swollen glands, rash or itching, joint pain, or general ill feeling;

  • pale or yellowed skin, yellowing of the eyes, dark colored urine, fever, confusion or weakness;

  • severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin; 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 side effects may include:

  • stomach pain, nausea, vomiting;

  • vaginal itching or discharge;

  • headache; or

  • swollen, black, or "hairy" tongue.

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: Side effects (in more detail)

Amoxicillin Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Actinomycosis:

500 mg orally 3 times a day or 875 mg orally twice a day for six months
Initial treatment of actinomycosis should include high dose parenteral penicillin G or ampicillin for 4 to 6 weeks, followed by appropriate oral therapy.

Usual Adult Dose for Anthrax Prophylaxis:

500 mg orally every 8 hours

Oral amoxicillin is not considered first-line treatment for anthrax prophylaxis; it may, however, be used to complete a 60-day prophylactic course after 10 to 14 days of ciprofloxacin or doxycycline in pregnant or lactating patients or in patients with contraindications to the other two agents. The total duration of antimicrobial therapy is 60 days.

Usual Adult Dose for Cutaneous Bacillus anthracis:

Treatment for confirmed cases of cutaneous Bacillus anthracis infection: 500 mg orally three times a day

Oral amoxicillin is not considered first-line treatment for the treatment of cutaneous anthrax; it may, however, be used to complete the treatment course once clinical response to ciprofloxacin or doxycycline has been observed or if the patient has contraindications to the other two agents. The total duration of antimicrobial therapy is 60 days.

Usual Adult Dose for Bacterial Endocarditis Prophylaxis:

2 g orally given one hour prior to the procedure

Amoxicillin is considered the standard agent for prophylaxis against bacterial endocarditis in at-risk individuals undergoing certain dental, oral, respiratory tract or esophageal procedures.

Amoxicillin is not appropriate as endocarditis prophylaxis for patients identified as high-risk, including those with prosthetic heart valves, prior endocarditis, and those who have had surgically constructed systemic shunts or conduits. These patients should receive appropriate parenteral antimicrobial therapy.

Usual Adult Dose for Chlamydia Infection:

500 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 days in pregnant patients as an alternative to erythromycin in macrolide-sensitive individuals

Amoxicillin does not have reliable activity against Chlamydia trachomatis.

Usual Adult Dose for Cystitis:

250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 3 to 7 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered

Usual Adult Dose for Urinary Tract Infection:

250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 3 to 7 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered

Usual Adult Dose for Helicobacter pylori Infection:

1 g orally 2 to 3 times a day for 14 days
Amoxicillin is used in combination with metronidazole and bismuth subsalicylate or with clarithromycin and a proton-pump inhibitor such as omeprazole or lansoprazole.

Usual Adult Dose for Lyme Disease -- Arthritis:

500 mg orally 3 times a day for 14 to 30 days
Early Lyme disease is often treated with an oral antibiotic such as doxycycline, cefuroxime or azithromycin, all of which are active against Borrelia burgdorferi. If amoxicillin is used, clinicians may wish to add probenecid, although the benefit of this addition is uncertain.

Up to 15% of patients with Lyme disease experience the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (increased fever, increased flushing rash, and increased pain) during the first 24 hours of therapy. This reaction is self-limiting, does not necessarily reflect true allergy to amoxicillin, and may be reduced in intensity by premedication with aspirin and/or prednisone.

Usual Adult Dose for Lyme Disease -- Carditis:

500 mg orally 3 times a day for 14 to 30 days
Early Lyme disease is often treated with an oral antibiotic such as doxycycline, cefuroxime or azithromycin, all of which are active against Borrelia burgdorferi. If amoxicillin is used, clinicians may wish to add probenecid, although the benefit of this addition is uncertain.

Up to 15% of patients with Lyme disease experience the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (increased fever, increased flushing rash, and increased pain) during the first 24 hours of therapy. This reaction is self-limiting, does not necessarily reflect true allergy to amoxicillin, and may be reduced in intensity by premedication with aspirin and/or prednisone.

Usual Adult Dose for Lyme Disease -- Erythema Chronicum Migrans:

500 mg orally 3 times a day for 14 to 30 days
Early Lyme disease is often treated with an oral antibiotic such as doxycycline, cefuroxime or azithromycin, all of which are active against Borrelia burgdorferi. If amoxicillin is used, clinicians may wish to add probenecid, although the benefit of this addition is uncertain.

Up to 15% of patients with Lyme disease experience the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (increased fever, increased flushing rash, and increased pain) during the first 24 hours of therapy. This reaction is self-limiting, does not necessarily reflect true allergy to amoxicillin, and may be reduced in intensity by premedication with aspirin and/or prednisone.

Usual Adult Dose for Lyme Disease -- Neurologic:

500 mg orally 3 times a day for 14 to 30 days
Early Lyme disease is often treated with an oral antibiotic such as doxycycline, cefuroxime or azithromycin, all of which are active against Borrelia burgdorferi. If amoxicillin is used, clinicians may wish to add probenecid, although the benefit of this addition is uncertain.

Up to 15% of patients with Lyme disease experience the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (increased fever, increased flushing rash, and increased pain) during the first 24 hours of therapy. This reaction is self-limiting, does not necessarily reflect true allergy to amoxicillin, and may be reduced in intensity by premedication with aspirin and/or prednisone.

Usual Adult Dose for Otitis Media:

250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 10 to 14 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered

Usual Adult Dose for Pneumonia:

500 mg orally 3 times a day or 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered for 7 to 10 days if pneumococcal pneumonia is suspected
Only mild pneumonia due to pneumococcus should be treated with amoxicillin.

Usual Adult Dose for Sinusitis:

250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 10 to 14 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered
Longer courses of therapy, up to 3 or 4 weeks, may be required in refractory or recurrent cases.

Usual Adult Dose for Skin or Soft Tissue Infection:

250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 to 10 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered

Usual Adult Dose for Upper Respiratory Tract Infection:

250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 to 10 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered

Usual Adult Dose for Bronchitis:

250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 to 10 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered

Usual Adult Dose for Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis:

Immediate-release: 250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 to 10 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered
Extended-release: 775 mg orally once a day within 1 hour after a meal for 10 days; for infections secondary to Streptococcus pyogenes

Usual Adult Dose for Bacterial Infection:

250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 to 21 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered

Usual Pediatric Dose for Bacterial Endocarditis Prophylaxis:

50 mg/kg orally as a single dose 1 hour prior to procedure

Amoxicillin is not appropriate as endocarditis prophylaxis for patients identified as high-risk, including those with prosthetic heart valves, prior endocarditis, and those who have had surgically constructed systemic shunts or conduits. These patients should receive appropriate parenteral antimicrobial therapy.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Anthrax Prophylaxis:

80 mg/kg/day divided into equal doses administered orally every 8 hours
Maximum dose: 500 mg/dose

Oral amoxicillin is not considered first-line treatment for anthrax prophylaxis; it may, however, be used to complete a 60-day prophylactic course after 10 to 14 days of ciprofloxacin or doxycycline in pediatric patients. The total duration of antimicrobial therapy is 60 days.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Cutaneous Bacillus anthracis:

Treatment for confirmed cases of cutaneous Bacillus anthracis infection: 80 mg/kg/day divided into equal doses administered orally every 8 hours
Maximum dose: 500 mg/dose

Oral amoxicillin is not considered first-line treatment for the treatment of cutaneous anthrax; it may, however, be used to complete the treatment course once clinical response to ciprofloxacin or doxycycline has been observed. The total duration of antimicrobial therapy is 60 days.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Otitis Media:

4 weeks to 3 months: 20 to 30 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours
4 months to 12 years: 20 to 50 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 to 12 hours; acute otitis media due to highly resistant strains of Streptococcus pneumonia may require doses of 80 to 90 mg/kg/day orally divided into 2 equal doses 12 hours apart

Usual Pediatric Dose for Skin or Soft Tissue Infection:

4 weeks to 3 months: 20 to 30 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours
4 months to 12 years: 20 to 50 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 to 12 hours; acute otitis media due to highly resistant strains of Streptococcus pneumonia may require doses of 80 to 90 mg/kg/day orally divided into 2 equal doses 12 hours apart

Usual Pediatric Dose for Urinary Tract Infection:

4 weeks to 3 months: 20 to 30 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours
4 months to 12 years: 20 to 50 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 to 12 hours; acute otitis media due to highly resistant strains of Streptococcus pneumonia may require doses of 80 to 90 mg/kg/day orally divided into 2 equal doses 12 hours apart

Usual Pediatric Dose for Pneumonia:

40 to 50 mg/kg/day orally in divided doses every 8 hours

Usual Pediatric Dose for Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis:

4 weeks to 3 months: 20 to 30 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours
4 months to 12 years: 20 to 50 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 to 12 hour

12 years or older:
Immediate-release: 250 to 500 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 to 10 days; alternatively, 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day may be administered
Extended-release: 775 mg orally once a day within 1 hour after a meal for 10 days; for infections secondary to S pyogenes

What other drugs will affect amoxicillin?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • probenecid (Benemid);

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);

  • an antibiotic such as azithromycin (Zithromax), clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), or telithromycin (Ketek);

  • sulfa drugs (Bactrim, Septra, Sulfatrim, SMX-TMP, and others); or

  • a tetracycline antibiotic such as doxycycline (Doryx, Oracea, Periostat, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn), tetracycline (Ala-Tet, Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap), and others.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with amoxicillin. 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.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about amoxicillin.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.01. Revision Date: 2011-12-29, 4:30:29 PM.

Watch this video series to learn about managing severe allergies (anaphylaxis).

Close
Hide
(web2)