Ampicillin and sulbactam
Medically reviewed on July 19, 2017.
What is ampicillin and sulbactam?
Ampicillin and sulbactam are penicillin antibiotics that fight bacteria.
Ampicillin and sulbactam is a combination medicine used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria.
Ampicillin and sulbactam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medicine if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any type of penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotic, or if you have had liver problems while using ampicillin and sulbactam.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to ampicillin or sulbactam, or if you have ever had
a severe allergic reaction to any type of penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotic; or
liver problems (hepatitis or jaundice) while using ampicillin and sulbactam.
To make sure ampicillin and sulbactam is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
mononucleosis (also called "mono");
an allergy to any medication; or
any other allergies.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Ampicillin and sulbactam can pass into breast milk, but effects on the nursing baby are not known. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
How should I use ampicillin and sulbactam?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Ampicillin and sulbactam is injected into a muscle, or into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to use the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used.
Ampicillin and sulbactam is a powder medicine that must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine.
After mixing your medicine, you will need to use it within a certain number of hours. This will depend on the diluent and how you store the mixture (at cool room temperature, or in a refrigerator). Carefully follow the mixing and storage instructions provided with your medicine. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions.
Use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
Use this medicine 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. Ampicillin and sulbactam will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
You may need frequent blood tests to check your liver function.
This medication can cause unusual results with certain lab tests for glucose (sugar) in the urine. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using ampicillin and sulbactam.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use 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 may cause seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid while using ampicillin and sulbactam?
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Ampicillin and sulbactam side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
thrush (white patches inside your mouth or throat);
liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, 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.
Common side effects may include:
swollen, black, or "hairy" tongue;
mild or occasional diarrhea;
vaginal itching or discharge;
mild skin rash; or
pain, swelling, bruising, or irritation around the IV needle.
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 ampicillin and sulbactam?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with ampicillin and sulbactam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
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.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01.
More about ampicillin/sulbactam
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 2 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: beta-lactamase inhibitors
Other brands: Unasyn
- Ampicillin Sodium and Sulbactam Sodium (AHFS Monograph)
- Ampicillin and Sulbactam Injection (FDA)
- Ampicillin and Sulbactam (Wolters Kluwer)