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Side Effects of Amoxicillin

Updated on June 13, 2013

This article is not intended to be of a diagnostic nature. The following article is only for educational or informative purposes. Consult your doctor before taking this medication or making any changes to drug dosage.

Amoxicillin Tablets
Amoxicillin Tablets | Source

Amoxicillin abbreviated Amox, is a moderate-spectrum antibiotic medication. Antibiotics are medicines that inhibit the growth of or destroys microorganisms. It is a penicillin antibiotic, amoxicillin fights against the growth of bacteria in the body. Amoxicillin doesn't kill the harmful bacteria that are present in the body but restricts the growth and multiplication of bacteria by preventing the formation of the walls around the cell body, these cell walls are essential for the survival of the bacteria in the body. Amoxicillin is ineffective against viral infections, cold, flu, Pneumococci and Streptococci.

Amoxicillin when combined with clavulanate potassium is a broad spectrum antibiotic used to treat infections caused by bacteria in the ears, lungs, skin and the urinary tract.

How does it work?

Amoxicillin doesn't kill bacteria but it prevents the formation of walls around bacteria, without the walls to protect the bacteria cannot survive in the body. Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses.

Why don't antibiotics work on viruses?

Antibiotics do not work on viruses because viruses are not alive. Bacteria are living microorganisms but a virus is a piece of DNA/RNA that injects itself onto other cells and multiplies.

Medical Uses

Amoxicillin is used to treat infections caused by bacteria

  • Infection in ears, nose and throat
  • Pneumonia (Lung inflammation caused by bacterial or viral infection.)
  • Salmonella infection
  • E.coli infections (cholecystitis, bacteremia, cholangitis, urinary tract Infections, Pneumonia )
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Urinary tract Infections
  • Bronchitis (Inflammation of the mucous membrane in the bronchial tubes.)
  • Infections in the respiratory tract
  • Skin infections
  • Other infections caused by Streptococcus and E.coli


  • Do not take amoxicillin if you suffer from liver or kidney impairments.
  • Do not take amoxicillin if you are allergic to any ingredient in the medication.
  • Do not take amoxicillin if you have asthma.
  • Do not take amoxicillin if you are breast feeding.
  • Avoid usage of the medication if you regularly consume alcohol.
  • Do not take 2 doses of the medication at once.
  • Amoxicillin can make birth control pills less effective.

Allergic reactions

  • Skin rashes
  • Feeling feverish
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling of face, lips or tongue
  • Collapse
  • Wheezing
  • Excessive sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Seizure

Allergic reactions can be very severe, even fatal allergic reactions have been reported, seek immediate medical attention if you observe any allergic reactions.

Side Effects

Common side effects

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting (can be of an allergic reaction also)
  • Rashes
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

Rare side effects

  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding
  • Yellow patches on skin (symptoms of jaundice)
  • Yellowing of the eyes (Jaundice)
  • Pale skin
  • Indigestion
  • Swollen glands (Swollen lymph nodes)
  • Tiredness

Some of these side effects are very serious and may require immediate medical attention and hospitalization.


Children 2 years to 10 years - 125 mg two times a day.

Adults and children above 12 years - 250 mg - 500 mg three times a day. Dosage may vary with the severity of the infection.


If overdose is suspected, seek immediate medical attention.

Drug Interactions

Amoxicillin may interact with the following medications

  • Birth control pills

Amoxicillin may interact with contraceptive pills and make them less effective.

  • Warfarin and other blood thinning medicines.
  • Other antibiotic medications.

During Pregnancy

During pregnancy Amoxicillin should be used only when clearly needed. Animal reproduction studies have not demonstrated a foetal risk but it is highly recommended to consult your doctor before taking any new medication during pregnancy.

There is a possibility of the medication being transferred to breast milk. Amoxicillin in the medicine can be transferred to breast milk.


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