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Spectrobid Side Effects

Generic Name: bacampicillin

Note: This document contains side effect information about bacampicillin. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Spectrobid.

Applies to bacampicillin: oral tablet


Besides the urticarial rash of hypersensitivity to bacampicillin (the active ingredient contained in Spectrobid) a delayed hypersensitivity maculopapular rash may occur 10 to 12 days after bacampicillin therapy is begun.

Hypersensitivity reactions have included rare cases of interstitial nephritis, Henoch-Schonlein Purpura, focal glomerulonephritis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.[Ref]

Hypersensitivity reactions occur in up to 5% of patients treated with bacampicillin. Such reactions may include urticarial rashes, edema, hypotension, fever, eosinophilia, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and dyspnea. Anaphylaxis is rare. Bacampicillin should not be given to patients with a penicillin allergy.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal adverse effects occur in 2% to 5% of treated patients and may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. Rare cases of hepatitis and pancreatitis have been reported with ampicillin, the active form of bacampicillin (the active ingredient contained in Spectrobid) Monitoring of liver function tests is recommended in patients with liver dysfunction.[Ref]

Bacampicillin-associated diarrhea is usually self-limited and is likely related to alterations in the intestinal microflora. Such alterations may predispose patients to the development of diarrhea from Clostridium difficile toxin. Rare cases of transiently increased liver function tests and chronic cholestasis associated with ampicillin have been reported.

Acute pancreatitis associated with ampicillin has been reported and confirmed by rechallenge with ampicillin in a patient with no other obvious cause of pancreatitis.[Ref]


Rare cases of thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, red cell aplasia, and anemia have been reported.[Ref]

Hematologic adverse effects of bacampicillin are rare and include thrombocytopenia, red cell aplasia, and anemia.[Ref]


1. Grafford K, Nilsson BS "Twice daily dosage of bacampicillin: a summary of clinical documentation." J Antimicrob Chemother 8 (1981): 119-27

2. Craig WA, Gerber AU "Worldwide experience with bacampicillin administered twice a day." Rev Infect Dis 3 (1981): 171-7

3. Cavanzo FJ, Garcia CF, Botero RC "Chronic cholestasis, paucity of bile ducts, red cell aplasia, and the Stevens-Johnson syndrome." Gastroenterology 99 (1990): 854-6

4. Roujeau JC, Kelly JP, Naldi L, et al. "Medication use and the risk of Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis." N Engl J Med 333 (1995): 1600-7

5. Blomqvist M, Hedtrom SA "The clinical efficacy and safety of bacampicillin twice daily in comparative studies." J Int Med Res 15 (1987): 32-43

6. Hjort N, Renmarker K, Rosberg B, Skog PA, Hey H "Tolerance of two ampicillin esters: a comparison of pivampicillin and bacampicillin." Pharmatherapeutica 3 (1983): 398-404

7. Berliner S, Sidi Y, Shaklai M, Pinkhas J "Appearance of thrombocytopenia and benign monoclonal gammopathy following intake of drugs." Acta Haematol 67 (1982): 71-2

8. Hughes GS "Ampicillin and hematologic effects." Ann Intern Med 99 (1983): 573

9. "Product Information. Spectrobid (bacampicillin)." Roerig Division, New York, NY.

Some side effects of Spectrobid may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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