Amoxicillin / clavulanate Side Effects
Not all side effects for amoxicillin / clavulanate may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.
For the Consumer
Applies to amoxicillin / clavulanate: oral powder for suspension, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable, oral tablet extended release
In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by amoxicillin / clavulanate. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.
You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking amoxicillin / clavulanate:Less common
- Hives or welts
- itching of the vagina or genital area
- pain during sexual intercourse
- redness of the skin
- skin rash
- thick, white vaginal discharge with no odor or with a mild odor
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
- swelling of the feet or lower legs
- Abdominal or stomach cramps or tenderness
- back, leg, or stomach pains
- black, hairy tongue
- black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
- blood in the stools
- bloody nose
- chest pain
- clay-colored stools
- cough or hoarseness
- cracks in the skin
- dark urine
- diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody
- difficulty with breathing
- difficulty with moving
- difficulty with swallowing
- fast heartbeat
- fever with or without chills
- general body swelling
- general feeling of tiredness or weakness
- heavier menstrual periods
- increased thirst
- joint or muscle pain
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- light-colored stools
- loss of appetite
- loss of heat from the body
- lower back or side pain
- muscle stiffness
- nausea or vomiting
- pain, swelling, or redness in the joints
- painful or difficult urination
- pale skin
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- red skin lesions, often with a purple center
- red, irritated eyes
- red, swollen skin
- scaly skin
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- swollen glands
- tightness in the chest
- troubled breathing with exertion
- unpleasant breath odor
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight loss
- upper right abdominal or stomach pain
- vomiting of blood
- white patches in the mouth or throat or on the tongue
- white patches with diaper rash
- yellow eyes or skin
If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking amoxicillin / clavulanate, get emergency help immediately:Symptoms of overdose
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- cloudy urine
- greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
Some of the side effects that can occur with amoxicillin / clavulanate may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:Rare
- dry mouth
- irregular heartbeats
- tooth discoloration
- trouble sitting still
- trouble with sleeping
- Burning feeling in the chest or stomach
- redness, swelling, or soreness of the tongue
- stomach upset
- swelling or inflammation of the mouth
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to amoxicillin / clavulanate: oral powder for reconstitution, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable, oral tablet extended release
In general, side effects have been classified as mild and transient. Less than 3% of patients in clinical trials discontinued treatment due to side effects. The most frequent adverse reactions associated with immediate-release formulations have included diarrhea/loose stools (9%), nausea (3%), skin rashes and urticaria (3%), vomiting (1%), and vaginitis (1%). Extended-release tablets have been most frequently associated with diarrhea (14.5%), vaginal mycosis (3.3%), nausea (2.1%), and loose stools (1.6%).
Amoxicillin has been associated with hemorrhagic, sometimes inflammatory colitis, which typically affects the ascending colon. In addition, C difficile pseudomembranous colitis should be considered in patients who develop severe or prolonged diarrhea during or following amoxicillin-clavulanate therapy.
The incidence of diarrhea appears to increase with higher doses, and to decrease with twice daily dosing regimens (of immediate release formulations).
Gastrointestinal side effects have included diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, indigestion, gastritis, generalized abdominal cramps, stomatitis, glossitis, mucocutaneous candidiasis, enterocolitis, black "hairy" tongue, small intestinal motor disturbances, hemorrhagic colitis, and pseudomembranous colitis. Colitis and Clostridium difficile pseudomembranous colitis have been reported with amoxicillin.
Hypersensitivity reactions have occurred in up to 10% of patients, and may present as a skin rash, urticaria, pruritus, angioedema, serum sickness-like reactions (urticaria or skin rash accompanied by arthritis, arthralgia, myalgia, and frequently fever), erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (rarely), acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, hypersensitivity vasculitis, exfoliative dermatitis, and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Anaphylaxis has been rarely reported (up to 0.2%). Hypersensitivity may play a role in some cases of amoxicillin-clavulanate-induced renal and hepatic toxicity. Urticarial rash, erythematous maculopapular rash, edema, hypotension, fever, eosinophilia, and dyspnea have been associated with hypersensitivity reactions to amoxicillin.
Hypersensitivity reactions to amoxicillin are more likely in patients with a history of allergy, asthma, hay fever, or urticaria.
Dermatologic side effects have included rash, fixed drug eruption, bullous pemphigoid, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and exfoliative dermatitis. Amoxicillin rashes occur more frequently in patients with unrecognized infectious mononucleosis. This rash is not necessarily indicative of a lifelong amoxicillin hypersensitivity.
Three out of four patients with infectious mononucleosis and an amoxicillin-associated rash displayed hypersensitivity to amoxicillin and ampicillin by skin tests and lymphocyte transformation tests. Two of these patients had side-chain-specific sensitization.
In cases of amoxicillin-clavulanate-induced hepatotoxicity, biopsy findings have typically revealed evidence of cholestatic injury. However, hepatocellular and mixed-type (cholestatic and hepatocellular) injury have also been documented. In many instances, hepatotoxicity may be due to a hypersensitivity. Onset of symptoms has been delayed in some patients, with presentation occurring after therapy has been discontinued. Prolonged treatment may increase the risk of hepatotoxicity. Elderly patients may be at increased risk of developing amoxicillin-clavulanate-induced jaundice. Fatalities are rare, but have been reported.
Rechallenge with amoxicillin alone has not been followed by a recurrence of hepatitis. However, rechallenge with amoxicillin-clavulanate has resulted in a relapse of liver injury. Therefore, the clavulanic acid may be the hepatotoxic part of the drug.
In patients with liver disease, frequent monitoring of liver function tests during amoxicillin-clavulanate therapy is recommended.
Hepatic side effects have included moderate elevations in serum transaminases (ALT and/or AST). Hepatic dysfunction (including cholestatic jaundice and hepatitis, increases in ALT and/or AST, serum bilirubin, and/or alkaline phosphatase) has been reported infrequently. Rare cases of jaundice, ductopenia, cholestatic hepatitis, granulomatous hepatitis, hepatic necrosis, and hepatocellular damage have also been reported. Less than 1 death per approximately 4 million prescriptions has been reported worldwide. Hepatic cholestasis and acute cytolytic hepatitis have been reported with amoxicillin use.
A 45-year-old female developed massive crystalluria, gross hematuria, and acute anuric renal failure after 12 days of intravenous amoxicillin-clavulanate at a dose of 2 g amoxicillin 3 times daily (not available in the United States). The crystals were composed of amoxicillin trihydrate. The renal failure and hematuria resolved over 6 days after discontinuation of the antibiotic.
Renal side effects have rarely included crystalluria, hematuria, acute renal failure, and acute interstitial nephritis, often associated with fever, rash, and eosinophilia.
Hematologic side effects associated with penicillins have included thrombocytopenia, anemia, hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenic purpura, eosinophilia, agranulocytosis, and leukopenia. These are believed to be due to hypersensitivity and are usually reversible when the drug is discontinued. Mild to moderate thrombocytosis has been reported in less than 1% of patients treated with amoxicillin-clavulanate and 3.6% of patients treated with the extended-release tablets. Purpura, pancytopenia, granulocytopenia, medullary aplasia, prolongation of prothrombin time, and transient neutropenia have also been reported.
Amoxicillin has been shown to induce hemolytic anemia in rare cases. A case of bone marrow "maturation arrest" resulting in neutropenia and of Henoch-Schonlein purpura syndrome has been associated with amoxicillin-clavulanate.
A patient undergoing dental extraction and receiving warfarin anticoagulation therapy had prolonged bleeding times (PT and INR), and decreased hemoglobin and hematocrit. The bleeding was felt due to vitamin K deficiency as a result of depletion of intrinsic vitamin K-producing gut flora from use of amoxicillin for prophylaxis of subacute bacterial endocarditis.
Immunologic side effects associated with amoxicillin have included mucocutaneous candidiasis and vulvovaginal mycotic infection.
Nervous system side effects have rarely included agitation, anxiety, behavioral changes, confusion, convulsions, dizziness, headache, insomnia, and reversible hyperactivity. Rare cases of psychosis associated with amoxicillin therapy have been reported, but may have been due to underlying infection or concomitant medication. Rarely, somnolence and aseptic meningitis have been reported with amoxicillin.
Genitourinary side effects have included genital moniliasis (2.1%).
Amoxicillin-clavulanate may cause false-positive urine glucose tests in patients using Clinitest(R) tablets. Enzymatic glucose oxidase tests should be used during amoxicillin-clavulanate therapy.
Other side effects have rarely included brown, yellow, or gray tooth discoloration, primarily in pediatric patients. Brushing or dental cleaning reduced or eliminated the discoloration in most cases.
Respiratory side effects associated with amoxicillin have included cough and rhinorrhea.
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