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Principen

Generic Name: ampicillin (am pi SIL in)
Brand Name: Principen

What is Principen (ampicillin)?

Ampicillin is an antibiotic in the penicillin group of drugs. It fights bacteria in your body.

Ampicillin 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.

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

What is the most important information I should know about Principen (ampicillin)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to ampicillin or to any other penicillin antibiotic, such as amoxicillin (Amoxil), carbenicillin (Geocillin), dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen), oxacillin (Bactocill), penicillin (Beepen-VK, Ledercillin VK, Pen-V, Pen-Vee K, Pfizerpen, V-Cillin K, Veetids), and others.

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

Ampicillin can make birth control pills less effective, which may result in pregnancy. Before taking ampicillin, tell your doctor if you use birth control pills.

Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Ampicillin 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 ampicillin 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 Principen (ampicillin)?

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

  • amoxicillin (Amoxil, Amoxicot, Biomox, Dispermox, Trimox);

  • carbenicillin (Geocillin);

  • dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen);

  • oxacillin (Bactocill); or

  • penicillin (Beepen-VK, Ledercillin VK, Pen-V, Pen-Vee K, Pfizerpen, V-Cillin K, Veetids, and others).

To make sure you can safely take ampicillin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs (especially cephalosporins such as Omnicef, Cefzil, Ceftin, Keflex, and others), or if you have:

  • asthma;

  • kidney disease;

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;

  • mononucleosis (also called "mono");

  • a history of diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics; or

  • a history of any type of allergy.

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

Ampicillin can make birth control pills less effective, which may result in pregnancy. Before taking ampicillin, tell your doctor if you use birth control pills.

Ampicillin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking ampicillin.

How should I take Principen (ampicillin)?

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.

Take the medicine with a full glass of water.

Ampicillin should be taken on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating a meal.

To be sure this medicine is helping your condition, 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.

Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Ampicillin 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 ampicillin.

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

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 Principen (ampicillin)?

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 ampicillin and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Principen (ampicillin) 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:

  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;

  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

  • urinating less than usual or not at all;

  • agitation, confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior; or

  • seizure (black-out or convulsions).

Less serious side effects may include

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;

  • vaginal itching or discharge;

  • headache;

  • swollen, black, or "hairy" tongue; or

  • thrush (white patches or inside your mouth or throat).

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)

What other drugs will affect Principen (ampicillin)?

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

  • allopurinol (Zyloprim);

  • methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall);

  • probenecid (Benemid);

  • a sulfa drug (such as Bactrim or Septra); or

  • a tetracycline antibiotic such as demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), or tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with ampicillin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about ampicillin.
  • 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: 6.02. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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