Amoxicillin is a commonly used medication that is prescribed for the treatment of many types of bacterial infections. Some of the infections include genital, skin and sinus infections. Amoxicillin may be prescribed with other drugs to treat various different bacteria types that are more severe, or that could react more strongly to specific antibiotics.
Why is Amoxicillin Prescribed?
Amoxicillin is an effective antibiotic for the treatment or many diseases. Throat, nose and ear infections are among the most common. Amoxicillin can treat skin, genital and urinary tract infections if given in stronger doses. Gonorrhea is also treated in this way. Amoxicillin is sometimes used in combination with other types of drugs for treating bacterial infections caused by H. pylori, which may cause some ulcers.
If you’re allergic to penicillin or cephalosporin, you should not take Amoxicillin. If you have an allergic reaction to one of these antibiotics, it can be severe. If you feel any effects like those of a typical allergic reaction for you, seek medical attention right away. If you have impaired renal function, you should not take Amoxicillin.
Some people also develop diarrhea when they are taking antibiotics. If you have phenylketonuria, or if your child does, neither of you should use chewable drugs containing phenylalanine.
Since Amoxicillin is only an antibiotic, it is not useful in the treatment of viral infections, including common colds.
When your physician prescribes you antibiotics for diseases that are successfully treated with these drugs, you need to follow the instructions to the letter. Even though your symptoms may lessen and subside within several days, continue your antibiotics until they are gone. This ensures that any traces of the bacteria will be removed from your body, so your symptoms won’t return.
Recommended Dosages of Amoxicillin for various Age Groups & Diseases
The dosage of Amoxicillin you are prescribed is largely dependent on your weight and age, as well as the disease your body is fighting. Dosages usually need to be continued between two and three days beyond the end of symptoms. The average patient is treated for about 10 days, but this can be adjusted if you have a child who is under two years of age.
Infants need to be monitored for streptococcus pyogenes while they are taking an antibiotic, to make sure they don’t develop a more serious type of infection. Some of the symptoms of streptococcus pyogenes are:
- Painful swallowing
- Throat pain that develops swiftly
- Small red spots at the back of the mouth on the mouth roof
- Swollen, red tonsils that may have streaks of pus or white patches
- Tender, swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Notify your child’s pediatrician if you notice these symptoms in your child taking Amoxicillin.
Larger doses are prescribed for gonorrhea, and it will normally be paired with another medication. Amoxicillin doesn’t need to be taken with food, but it can be mixed with formula or a beverage if your child can take it more easily that way.
Table: Typical Amoxicillin Dosages
|Infection||Disease||Severity||Normal Adult Dosage||Normal Dosage for Children over 3 months||Normal Dosage for Children from 0 to 3 months|
|Lower Respiratory Tract||Bacterial presence in structures||Mild to moderate or severe||875 mg each 12 hours or 500 mg each 8 hours||45 mg per kg a day in divided doses every 12 hours or 40 mg per kg a day in divided doses every 8 hours||30 mg per kg a day divided every 12 hours|
|Infection||Skin, throat, nose, ear or|
|Severe||875 mg taken every 12 hours or 500 mg every 8 hours||45 mg per kg a day divided in doses every 12 hours or 40 mg per kg per day in divided doses every 8 hours||30 mg per k per day divided every 12 hours|
|Skin or Skin Structure||Soft Tissue or Skin infection||Mild to moderate||500 mg/ 12 hours or 250 mg/ 8 hours||25 mg per kg a day in doses divided every 12 hours or 20 mg per kg a day in divided doses every 8 hours||Highest dose of recommended is 30 mg per day divided every 12 hours|
|Gonorrhea||Urethral or genital, uncomplicated or acute||Any||3 grams in one single oral dose||See a physician. Probenecid is not prescribed to children < 2 years.||50 mg per kg in one single dose|
What to do if you Miss a Dose of Amoxicillin
If you have missed an Amoxicillin dose, make it up when you remember, unless it’s close to the time for the next dose. If it’s almost time for that next dose, don’t take the one you missed, too. Never take more than one dose at a time.
Dosage for Minimum Effect and Upper Level Tolerable Dosage
One dose of Amoxicillin is often administered for gonorrhea. Otherwise, the lowest effective dose for an adult is 500 mg taken every eight hours. If you have a child under the age of three months, or if your child weighs 87 pounds or less, he can only get a 30 mg maximum dose. Adults can determine their personal maximum dosage based on their body weight.
If for any reason a dosage amount is exceeded, you will need to seek medical attention immediately.
Amoxicillin Dosage for Seniors, Children & Patients with Kidney or Liver Problems
Adult dosing can be used for your child if he weighs more than 88 pounds. For everyone else, including smaller children, consult your physician. Seniors do not have to take a lower dose because of age, but if they also have kidney or liver problems, they need to advise their physicians of this fact before they take Amoxicillin. Some patients need lower dosages, if they condition is severe and their body cannot effectively clear toxins.
Potential Side Effects of Amoxicillin
The major Amoxicillin side effects are listed here – contact your physician if you experience any of these effects:
- Breathing difficulties
- Swallowing difficulties
- Rapid heartbeat
- Stomach or abdominal tenderness or cramps with no known cause
- Leg or back pains with no known cause
- Bleeding gums
- Tarry, black stools
- Peeling or blistering of the skin
- Bloody nose
- Blood in your urine or dark urine
- Unexplained chest pain
- Severe or watery diarrhea