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Everything You Need to Know About Amoxicillin: Uses, Side Effects, and More

1. About amoxicillin


Amoxicillin is a penicillin antibiotic. It is used to treat bacterial infections, such as chest infections (including pneumonia) and dental abscesses. It can also be used together with other antibiotics and medicines to treat stomach ulcers.

It's often prescribed for children, to treat ear infections and chest infections.

Amoxicillin is only available on prescription. It comes as capsules or as a liquid that you swallow. It's also given by injection, but this is usually only done in hospital.


2. Key facts


  • For most infections, you'll start to feel better in a few days.

  • The most common side effects of amoxicillin are feeling sick (nausea) and diarrhoea.

  • Liquid amoxicillin can stain your teeth. This does not last and is removed by brushing.

  • You can drink alcohol while taking amoxicillin.

  • Sometimes, taking amoxicillin can cause thrush.


3. Who can and cannot take amoxicillin?


Amoxicillin can be taken by most adults and children.

Find out more about giving amoxicillin to children on the Medicines for Children website. Amoxicillin is not suitable for everyone. To make sure amoxicillin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you:


  • have ever had an allergic reaction to amoxicillin or penicillin or any other medicine

  • have liver or kidney problems

  • have recently had, or are due to have, any vaccinations


4. How and when to take amoxicillin?


Dosage

The usual dose of amoxicillin capsules is 250mg to 500mg, taken 3 times a day. The dose may be lower for children. Amoxicillin liquid is available in 125mg and 250mg doses.


How to take it

Try to space the doses evenly throughout the day. If you take it 3 times a day, this could be first thing in the morning, mid-afternoon and at bedtime.

You can take amoxicillin before or after food.


Swallow amoxicillin capsules whole with a drink of water. Do not chew or break them.


Amoxicillin is available as a liquid for children and people who find it difficult to swallow capsules.


If you or your child are taking liquid amoxicillin, it will usually be made up for you by your pharmacist. The medicine will come with a plastic syringe or spoon to help you measure out the right dose. If you do not have one, ask your pharmacist for one. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not measure the right amount.


If you forget to take it

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it's nearly time for your next dose. In this case, just leave out the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time.


Never take 2 doses at the same time. Never take an extra dose to make up for a forgotten one.


If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to remember your medicines.


If you take too much

Taking an extra dose of amoxicillin is unlikely to harm you or your child, but speak to your pharmacist or doctor if you're worried.


Contact 111 for advice now if:


You have taken more than your prescribed dose of amoxicillin and have symptoms including:


  • stomach pain or you're being sick

  • blood in your pee

  • difficulty peeing or producing less pee than usual


Go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111

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Please Note: This information is provided by the NHS for more information about Amoxicillin please Click Here

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