Amoxicillin: does it have a side effect? See what it is for and how to take it

There are many health complications that can make a person lack the use of antibiotics . These medications are used to treat disorders caused by bacteria – which can include urinary , throat and / or ear infections , etc.

These and other problems are treated with antibiotics, including the same remedy that can treat more than one condition. Thinking about it, let’s explain a little about the use of one of these drugs: Amoxicillin .

See more information about this remedy, its indications and the form of use:

What is Amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is a medicinal substance and is present as an active ingredient in some medicines. It is classified as a penicillin – an antibiotic from the group of beta-lactams, used to treat infections caused by bacteria.

Among these are some such as Streptococcus pyogenes (causes inflammation in the throat), Enterococcus faecalis (causes urinary tract infection) and Helicobacter pylori (causes a type of ulcer and gastritis ).

Thus, this medication can be used to fight any bacteria susceptible to its action.

As for the presentation of medicines based on Amoxicillin, they can be found in capsule, tablet or oral suspension (liquid) versions. Each has specific dosage guidelines, but never exceeding the 6g daily limit .

It is also worth mentioning that much attention is needed on the part of people allergic to penicillin, since they cannot use this medication – which could lead the person, in more severe cases, even to death.

What is Amoxicillin for?

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic and, therefore, can be used to treat infections caused by bacteria. According to the information in the package insert, this medication is effective against a wide variety of these microorganisms.

Therefore, its action can be summed up in the fact that it treats any infection caused by a bacterium susceptible to its effects – which may include organisms that cause stomach, urinary, skin, blood, sexually transmitted infections, etc.

In the sequence you can observe some of the conditions that Amoxicillin can treat and which are the bacteria that cause these complications (it stands out that the same bacteria can cause several different diseases). Check out:

Sore throat

The inflammation in the throat can be caused by an infection by the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes , which is extremely contagious and can be caught by respiratory contact.

Symptoms that may arise as a result of this infection are: discomfort in the area, dry cough , pain when swallowing or speaking, red and / or swollen throat, fever .

The sore throat and inflammation may arise due to other factors (such as climate change, for example). However, in many cases what triggers the problem is infection by the bacteria.

In such cases, it is necessary to use antibiotics, such as Amoxicillin. This, since Streptococcus pyogenes is susceptible to the effects caused by this medication.

However, it should be noted that it is necessary to seek medical help first, in order to receive the correct diagnosis and prescription of the medicine. What is essential in the case of disorders caused by bacteria, since antibiotics can only be purchased with a prescription.

Stomach infections ( Helicobacter pylori )

Another bacterium that can be fought with Amoxicillin is Helicobacter pylori , which can trigger gastritis and ulcers, and may even be related to some types of cancer in this region.

These diseases can be caused by other reasons, for example, it is quite common for gastritis and ulcers to be related to emotional factors such as stress .

However, it is not uncommon for these disorders to be linked to this bacterium. In these cases, contamination occurs through direct contact (kisses, handshakes, etc.), since the microorganism is found in saliva, dental plaque and feces.

So, it is common for the group of infected people to be from the same family or to live together.

The common symptoms of these disorders are: heartburn , pain in the “mouth of the stomach”, burning, nausea and belching. Thus, they can be easily identified, but they lack medical guidance regarding treatment – since they can have different causes.

When related to Helicobacter pylori , they must be treated with antibiotics such as Amoxicillin, which has the ability to eliminate this bacterium.

Urinary infection

Urinary tract infection is a problem that can affect anyone, but especially women are more predisposed to this disease. Its cause is related to the bacteria Enterococcus faecalis.

This can be lodged in any part of the urinary canal: urethra, bladder, ureter and / or kidneys (in more severe cases of infection).

When this occurs, symptoms such as: urinary incontinence, burning urination, blood in the urine, local pains (bladder, back, pelvis, etc.), fever may appear.

It should be noted that the presence of some bacteria in the intimate region is common. However, the problem is when these organisms come into contact with the urinary canal, which causes the infection.

That is why women suffer more from this problem, since the urethra (the channel that conducts urine from the bladder out of the body) is very close to the vaginal entrance. Therefore, it is not difficult for bacteria to enter the body.

Therefore, with the appearance of any of the symptoms, seek medical help to start treatment with the antibiotic (such as Amoxicillin) and end the problem before it becomes an even greater complication.

Otitis media (ear infection)

Amoxicillin can also treat ear infection, or otitis media, which is characterized by an infection of the air-filled space behind the eardrum (the middle ear). This infection can have different causes, including contamination with the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae .

The bacterium is the cause of numerous invasive pneumococcal conditions (such as pneumonia, meningitis and even arthritis ) and non-invasive ( sinusitis , acute otitis media, etc.).

Transmission and contagion occur through coughing, sneezing or by objects contaminated by droplets. Then, from the entry of the microorganism, it can trigger different complications – such as those listed.

When the bacteria causes otitis media, it is common for the infected person to have symptoms such as: earache , fever, tinnitus, swelling of the region, headache, etc.

So, it is important to seek medical help to make the diagnosis and, if necessary, make use of antibiotics that can eliminate the bacteria that causes the problem. This may include the use of Amoxicillin, as Streptococcus pneumoniae is susceptible to the drug.

Dental abscesses

A dental abscess is caused by a bacterial infection, which causes pus to appear in the oral region. This problem can manifest itself in two ways:

  • Periodontal abscess – when the problem is located between the teeth and the gums;
  • Periapical abscess – when the infection settles at the root of the tooth.

Among the microorganisms that can cause these complications, is the bacterium Streptococcus viridans , which is susceptible to treatment with the antibiotic Amoxicillin.

Abscesses can be identified from some common symptoms: toothache, persistent and / or throbbing, pain when chewing or biting, extreme sensitivity to temperature (hot or cold) , and fever.

It is necessary to pay attention to the appearance of these signs and seek the help of a dentist, in order to diagnose what the problem is and if necessary use medications that can treat the problem, such as Amoxicillin.

Dosage: how to use the medicine?

As seen in the previous topic, there are many conditions (caused by bacteria) that can be treated with the use of Amoxicillin. For all of them, a medical prescription is needed, especially since the drug cannot be sold without a prescription.

However, more than that, the doctor will be able to assess what the complication is, what is causing it and how severe the disease is. All of these factors will interfere with the medication that will be administered and the way that it will be done.

The Amoxicillin package insert contains the doses indicated for several conditions (ulcer, urinary infection, etc.). There is also information on the expected dose according to other specific conditions (age, pre-existing diseases, severe cases).

Therefore, this content is important so that the professional can have a guide and safe guidelines for prescribing the medicine under different conditions.

Next, check out some instructions on the package insert regarding each presentation of Amoxicillin (tablet, capsule, suspension). Understand how to use each one and see about the dose that can be indicated:

Pills

The administration of Amoxicillin tablets should be taken orally, if necessary the medicine can be broken in half – but it should not be chewed.

Regarding the standard dose that can be indicated, the package insert contains the following guidelines:

  • Adults (including the elderly) – one 875mg tablet every 12 hours;
  • Children (below 40kg) – the use of compressed Amoxicillin is not indicated .

As the name suggests, this is a standard dose. It is taken as a parameter to define the amount and the time interval according to the individual circumstances of the patient.

In addition, it is important to note that regardless of any factor, the maximum daily dose of this medication should not exceed 6g (divided into smaller doses).

Capsule

Amoxicillin capsules should be taken with water, they should not be chewed or opened. Regarding the standard dose provided in the package insert, the indication is to administer 1 capsule of 500mg three times a day (adults and children over 40kg).

This prescription can vary according to severity, both for smaller doses and for increasing the dosage – respecting the daily limit.

Powder for oral suspension (liquid)

The liquid version of Amoxicillin is not marketed ready. Its packaging comes with powder for oral suspension, it is a very simple procedure:

  • Before opening, shake the jar to leave the powder very loose;
  • Put filtered water in the bottle (up to the indicated mark), shake it well so that the powder mixes completely with the water;
  • If this mixture does not stay on the mark indicated on the bottle, wait for the foam to drop well and slowly fill with more filter water – then shake again.

Once this is done, the suspension is ready and should be stable for 14 days if kept in the refrigerator (between 2ºC and 8ºC). If the medical prescription is for use of the medication for more than 14 days, you will need to buy a new bottle.

Regarding the indicated dose of the oral suspension, the package insert contains the following recommendation:

  • Adults and children (over 40kg) – 250mg (5mL) three times a day, which can be increased to 500mg (10mL) three times a day for more serious infections;
  • Children (below 40kg) – 20mg / kg to 50mg / kg (0.4mL to 1mL) three times a day.

The medication can be administered with a spoon or syringe. It should be noted that the use of Amoxicillin oral suspension is always indicated in cases where the indicated dose is less than 500mg.

Is it better to take with food or on an empty stomach?

Food intake when taking the antibiotic may not be recommended in some cases, as certain drugs end up interfering with their absorption due to mixing with the food – in this case, fasting is recommended.

Especially in the case of Amoxicillin, there is no contraindication to take at the time of meals or after eating. Incidentally, this can be indicated as it helps to protect the stomach, preventing gastric irritations.

Can you take Amoxicillin every 6 hours?

Considering that antibiotics are strong medications and that they need even more caution in their use than other medications, it is very important to follow medical advice regarding the times and doses indicated.

In general, it is very common that they are administered every 12 hours, every 8 hours or even in a single dose (once a day).

But this indication can vary according to the condition being treated and, in particular, according to the severity of the problem. Therefore, in more severe cases of any of the conditions that the medicine treats, the use of every 6 hours may be recommended.

What is the best time to take medicine every 6 hours?

Sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with your medication schedule, especially if you need to take more than one medication. However, a good tip is to always think of ways to not interrupt many of your routine and choose times that you remember easily.

In the case of remedies that need to be taken every 6 hours, it can be taken as follows:

  • 6 am – first dose;
  • 12h – second dose;
  • 18h – third dose;
  • 00h – fourth dose.

As mentioned, you can adapt according to your routine. For example, if you usually sleep later, you can choose to take your first dose at 7:00 AM or 8:00 AM, so the last one will be – respectively – 1:00 AM or 2:00 AM.

What is the maximum dosage of Amoxicillin per day?

The indicated dosage of Amoxicillin varies according to the condition being treated and there is also variation in the maximum dose for each case. However, regardless of treatment, the highest dose that can be administered is 6g per day (divided into doses).

It is important to respect this guidance and, above all, make use of the medicine according to the medical prescription. Thus, avoiding complications that may arise as a result of an overdose.

Side effects: Can Amoxicillin harm you?

Any medicated substance can cause side effects, which may (or may not) manifest in people who use it, even when it is done according to the medical indications and prescriptions of the package insert.

In the case of Amoxicillin, the adverse reactions listed as common (occur between 1% and 10% of patients) by the package leaflet are:

  • Skin reactions – very common the appearance of red pimples, which can cause itching and even remember the skin rashes caused by measles.
  • Diarrhea and nausea – occasionally, the product may cause indigestion or cause nausea and vomiting.

These disorders can occur in conjunction with feverish reactions. Also, if you want to know more about the reactions considered to be uncommon (occur between 0.1% and 1% of patients) and very rare (occur in less than 0.01% of patients), just read the medication leaflet .

In this case, some disorders are included, such as hemolytic anemia , hepatitis, vertigo, etc.

In addition, Amoxicillin can also be harmful if used in cases of contraindication.

Does Amoxicillin make you sleepy?

Some people may experience drowsiness with the use of antibiotics, which may be related to the fact that they are strong medications and that our body is not used to it.

However, the Amoxicillin package insert does not mention sleep disorders as a possible adverse reaction. That is, the medication should not cause drowsiness or insomnia (difficulty sleeping).

If you experience this type of change during treatment, seek medical help to investigate whether the problem is (or is not) linked to the antibiotic.

What are the contraindications for Amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is a penicillin and, therefore, should not be administered by people who have a history of hypersensitivity to this substance. Or who are sensitive to other beta-lactam antibiotics (those that contain penicillins and cephalosporins).

It should be noted that, depending on the degree of sensitivity of the patient, the use of this substance could even lead to death.

Finally, another contraindication is the use of pills by children (below 40kg).

Price and where to buy

Amoxicillin can be purchased at any pharmacy, but you need a prescription , since the prescription is mandatory for the sale of antibiotics.

The drug can also be purchased on online platforms, such as Consulta Remédios , which makes it possible to compare the price of the same product in different stores to ensure the best value.

However, in these cases, it is not possible to deliver the product. It can be purchased through the website, but needs to be picked up at the store due to the retention of the revenue.

Check the price * of some of the drugs that have Amoxicillin as an active ingredient:

  • Amoxil (capsules) – the box with 21 capsules (500mg) varies between R $ 26 and R $ 40;
  • Amoxicillin EMS (tablets) – the box with 14 875mg tablets is between R $ 30 and R $ 40;
  • Amoxicillin Germed Pharma (oral suspension) – the flask with a capacity of 100mL is between R $ 16 and R $ 22;
  • Novocilin (capsules) – the box with 21 capsules (500mg) is around R $ 24.
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