Amoxicillin & Clavulanate
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General Info: Uses and Effects
Augmentin is a combination of Amoxicillin and Clavulanate. Amoxicillin is in a class of penicillin antibiotics that kills bacteria in the human body. Clavulanate, on the other hand, is a beta-lactamase inhibitor for prevention of some bacteria from getting resistant to Amoxicillin. Amoxicillin & Clavulanate potassium is a compound drug that is used for the treatment of various infections induced by bacteria, such as pneumonia, sinusitis, bronchitis, ear infections, infections of the skin, and urinary tract infection.
Augmentin has been reported to make birth control pills slightly ineffective. You should therefore discuss other options of birth control, such as non-hormonal methods condom, spermicide, and diaphragm), with your doctor so as to prevent pregnancy during the course of taking Augmentin. It has not been reported whether Augmentin can harm an unborn child. It is therefore important that you inform your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant or if you already are.
Contraindication: Important to Know
If you have some health conditions, such as severe kidney disease, you should not use Augmentin. Individuals with liver problems should also not take Amoxicillin and Clavulanate potassium. If you also experience the symptoms of jaundice while taking the medication or you have allergic reactions to cephalosporin antibiotics or penicillin like Levaquine, Amoxil, Omnicef, Cefzil, Moxatag, and Ceftin, you should not use this drug. The medicine can pass into breast milk which can harm a nursing child. You should therefore not use the drug without informing your doctor if you are a nursing mother. If you change from one form of tablet to another, such as extended-release tablet, regular or chewable, take the same dosage strength as prescribed by your physician.
You need to discuss any health conditions you have with your physician. To ensure that Augmentin is effective for the treatment of your health condition, you should inform your physician if you have or have ever had mononucleosis, liver disease (jaundice or hepatitis), or kidney disease. Do not allow a child to use this medication without talking to your physician about it. The chewable tablet or liquid form of Augmentin may have phenylalanine, so you need to inform your doctor if you have phenylketonuria.
Instructions on Taking
It is important that you take Augmentin in accordance to your physician's prescription. You should not take this drug in smaller or larger amount. Using it beyond the recommended duration should also be avoided. Augmentin should be taken every twelve hours and should be taken with a meal to avoid stomach upset. The extended-release tablets should be taken as a whole or split it into half and everything should be taken at once. Do not chew or crush the tablet before use. In case you cannot swallow the pill, inform your doctor to see if you can get another form of Augmentin. If you have been prescribed the chewable tablet, do not take it as a whole. Chew it before swallowing it. For the liquid form, ensure you shake it before you measure your dose. Use a dosing syringe or a special measuring spoon or cup to measure your dose. It is important to take your medication for the complete period of time. Stopping half way can lead to drug resistant. You may experience improvement in your symptoms before you complete your doses. However, do not stop your treatment. Ensure you complete the dosage. Augmentin is not intended to treat viral infection like the common cold or the flu. The drug must be stored at a room temperature and must be kept away from heat and moisture.
For the treatment of aspiration pneumonia, use 500mg every eight hours or 875mg every twelve hours. The medication can last as long as two to four months depending on the severity or the nature of your infection. For the treatment of bronchitis, take 500mg every eight hours or 875mg every twelve hours for a period of seven to ten days.
To treat febrile neutropenia, use 500mg every eight hours with Ciprofloxacin until you have been afebrile, for a minimum of twenty-four hours. For the treatment of otitis media, use 250mg every eight hours or 500mg every twelve hours for ten to fourteen days. For severe infections, take 500mg every eight hours or 875mg every twelve hours.
You should call for medical attention if you have symptoms of allergic reactions to Amoxicillin & Clavulanate, such as difficult breathing, hives, swelling of the tongue, face, throat, or lips. It is important that you inform your physician if you experience any of the following side effects:
- Easy bruising and/or bleeding;
- Watery or bloody diarrhea, severe stomach pain;
- Loss of appetite, jaundice, upper stomach pain;
- Yellow or pale skin, fever, weakness, dark colored urine, or confusion;
- Severe skin reaction such as burning in the eyes, fever, swelling of tongue or face, painful skin with purple or red rash on the body causing peeling or blistering.
Some of the common side effects of Augmentin include vaginal itching or discharge, diarrhea, or nausea.
Interaction with Other Drugs
There are some medicaments that can interact with Augmentin. You should therefore inform your physician about all the drugs that you are taking or the ones you just stopped using. Let your doctor know if you are taking or have taken allopurinol, blood thinner (Coumadin, Warfarin, or Jantoven), or probenecid. This list is not exhaustive. There are some other drugs that can interact with Augmentin including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, vitamins, herbal products, and OTCs.