Dr Tim Ubhi explains what amoxicillin is, how your should child should take it, side effects and more. Amoxicillin is also an important component in Co-amoxiclav, another commonly used antibiotic preparation.
What is Amoxicillin?
Amoxicillin is an antibiotic that belongs to a class of drugs known as penicillins. Therefore, if you are allergic to penicillin, you will be allergic to amoxicillin. Amoxicillin is good at treating common bacterial infections such as ear infections, throat infections, chest infections and urine infections.
Dr Tim Ubhi explains that amoxicillin is very good at treating common bacterial infections but it has no role in the treatment of viral infections such as the common cold.
When should I give amoxicillin?
Amoxicillin is usually given three times a day either as a capsule,tablet or syrup.
How much should I give?
Your doctor will work out the amount of amoxicillin that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label. This is important as drug doses in children are worked out individually for each child and are usually calculated on the basis of the child’s weight.
How should I give it?
Amoxicillin can be taken with or without food. How you give the medicine depends upon whether your child has been given tablets, capsules or syrup. Capsules should not be chewed.
What if my child vomits?
If your child vomits less than 30 minutes after being given a dose of amoxicillin you should repeat the dose. If more than 30 minutes has passed you can assume that the medicine has been absorbed.
Side effects are rare with amoxicillin. It is usually a well tolerated drug.
If your child gets a skin rash or itching, is short of breath, wheezing, or their face, lips or tongue start to swell, they may be allergic to amoxicillin. Take your child to hospital or call an ambulance straight away.
Other side effects may include stomach upset which usually settles after 24 hours. If it doesn’t you should arrange to see your GP.
Amoxicillin can reduce the effect of birth control pills. It can also be passed through breast milk so it is important to discuss this with your general practitioner.
Amoxicillin is commonly given alongside other antibiotics such as erythromycin or clarithromycin.
The Children’s e-Hospital has developed the HOTPOD® Child Health Monitoring Kit to help you securely manage your child when they are unwell. Take a look in The Children’s e-Hospital Shop.