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Augmentin is a combination antibiotic medication used to treat bacterial infections such as pneumonia, sinusitis, urinary tract infections, and skin infections. The medication’s two active ingredients work to inhibit the growth of bad bacteria while helping prevent resistance to the antibiotic.
Augmentin combines amoxicillin and potassium Clavulanate to treat various bacterial infections. Amoxicillin is a penicillin antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body. Clavulanic acid inhibits bacterial beta-lactamase enzymes which work to break down penicillin strains. The inclusion of this inhibitor helps prevent resistance to amoxicillin while also enhancing its reach.
Augmentin (Amoxicillin/Potassium Clavulanate) works to treat infections such as acute uncomplicated and complicated urinary tract infections as well as bronchitis caused by organisms that are resistant to amoxicillin.
Uses and Dosages
The dosages prescribed for Augmentin will vary depending on why it is being used.
- Take Augmentin every 12 hours
- May work best if taken before a meal
- For better absorption, avoid taking after a high-fat meal
- Store tablets at room temperature away from heat and moisture
For regular bacterial infections:
- Adults should take no more than 500mg every 12 hours
- Can also take 250mg every 8 hours
For severe infections:
- Adults should take 875mg every 12 hours
- Can also take 500mg every 8 hours
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can but do not take two doses at once.
Augmentin interacts with bacteria in your body and will therefore cause some side effects. Speak with your doctor for more information and advice about any side effects you may encounter.
Common side effects include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Vaginal itching or discharge
- Diaper rash
Serious Side Effects
This medication may also cause more serious side effects. Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:
- Severe stomach pain
- Watery or bloody diarrhea (even if months after last dose)
- Pale or yellowed skin
- Dark urine
- Confusion or weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Upper stomach pain
- Little or no urination
- Easy bruising or bleeding
Do not take Augmentin if you are allergic to penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics. Serious hypersensitivity may occur, including anaphylaxis.
If an allergic reaction occurs, stop using Augmentin immediately and see your doctor.
Augmentin should not be taken if you have severe kidney disease or if you have had liver problems or jaundice before while taking amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium. or if you are allergic to penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics.
If you are breastfeeding it is suggested that you avoid taking Augmentin because it can pass into breast milk. This medication may also reduce the efficacy of birth control pills; speak to a doctor about non-hormonal birth control options before taking Augmentin.
Some other medications will affect Augmentin (Amoxicillin/Potassium Clavulanate). Speak with your doctor about all medications you take, especially the following:
- A blood thinner
Other drugs may also interact with Augmentin, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Form and Strength
Augmentin (Amoxicillin/Potassium Clavulanate) is available in tablet form.
Strengths available includes:
Can the Augmentin tablets be crushed instead of swallowed?
Slow-release Augmentin tablets should be swallowed and not crushed for the best effect. If you have difficulty swallowing pills you can break them in half or speak with your doctor about other available forms.
Can Augmentin help treat pneumonia?
Augmentin contains a combination of amoxicillin and potassium clavulanate which help fight a range of infections including pneumonia. Always speak with a doctor for advice on what medications are right for you.
Can you drink alcohol while taking Augmentin?
Yes, unlike other types of antibiotics, alcohol does not cause severe side effects with amoxicillin or potassium clavulanate. However, it may be best to avoid alcohol if you have an infection to increase your body’s chances of fighting the infection.
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