Uses of Amoxicillin and Clavulanic Acid
The combination of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, including infections of the ears, lungs, sinus, skin, and urinary tract. Amoxicillin is in a class of medications called penicillin-like antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria. Clavulanic acid is in a class of medications called beta-lactamase inhibitors. It works by preventing bacteria from destroying amoxicillin.
Antibiotics will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Using antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.
Side Effects of Amoxicillin and Clavulanic Acid
Amoxicillin and clavulanic acid may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- mild skin rash
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- severe skin rash
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- vaginal itching and discharge
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
Amoxicillin and clavulanic acid may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking amoxicillin and clavulanic acid:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox, Wymox), clavulanic acid, penicillin, cephalosporins, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in amoxicillin and clavulanic acid preparations. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention either of the following: allopurinol (Aloprim, Lopurin, Zyloprim) probenecid (Probalan), and warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease, allergies, asthma, hay fever, hives, or mononucleosis.
- you should know that amoxicillin and clavulanic acid may decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives (birth control pills). Plan to use another form of birth control while taking amoxicillin and clavulanic acid.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking amoxicillin and clavulanic acid, call your doctor.
The combination of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid comes as a tablet, a chewable tablet, an extended-release (long-acting) tablet, and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. The tablets, chewable tablets, and suspension are usually taken at the start of a meal every 8 hours (three times a day) or every 12 hours (twice a day). The extended-release tablets are usually taken with a meal or snack every 12 hours (twice a day). To help you remember to take amoxicillin and clavulanate, take it around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take amoxicillin and clavulanic acid exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the extended-release tablets whole; do not chew or crush them.
Shake the liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
The chewable tablets should be chewed thoroughly before they are swallowed. The other tablets should be taken with a full glass of water.
The 250 mg and 500 mg tablets of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid contain the same amount of clavulanic acid. Do not substitute two 250 mg tablets for one 500 mg tablet. The 250 mg regular tablet and the 250 mg chewable tablet contain different amounts of clavulanic acid. They also should not be substituted.
Take amoxicillin and clavulanic acid until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop taking amoxicillin and clavulanic too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to amoxicillin and clavulanic acid.
If you are diabetic, use Clinistix or TesTape (not Clinitest) to test your urine for sugar while taking this medication.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the amoxicillin and clavulanic acid, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.