Augmentin Prescribing Information
Augmentin is an antibiotic drug which is a combination of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium. Amoxicillin belongs to the penicillin group of antibiotics and fights against several bacteria present in the body while Clavulanate potassium prevents the bacteria from becoming resistant to amoxicillin.
The drug received the approval from FDA in the year 1984 and ever since been produced by various pharmaceutical firms, the leading one being GlaxoSmithKline.
Uses of Augmentin
It is used to treat many infections caused by bacteria. Some of the common infections are sinusitis, ear infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, and infections of the skin.
Augmentin can be given in the form of tablets (for adults), liquid (flavored for small children) and orally. You need to make sure that you take it with meals or a simple snack to avoid stomach upset. It can be given to all age groups such as children and adults with a different dosage which depends upon few factors that should be taken into consideration. Those factors are:
- Expected mass of antigens and their susceptibility to several antibacterial agents
- On the site which is affected
- How much severe the infection is
- Age and weight of the patient
- Renal function of the patient
- For adults and children more than 40 kg- One 500 mg/125 mg dose (three times a day)
- For Children less than 40 kg -20 mg/5 mg/kg/day to 60 mg/15 mg/kg/day ( three divided doses)
- Augmentin should not be given to children weighing less than 40 kgs
- Augmentin should be taken exactly as prescribed by the doctor otherwise it can cause adverse effects.
The medicine is available in multiple forms and in multiple dosages:
- Augmentin tablets: Available in 250mg, 500mg and 875mg with 125mg of Clavulanate-potassium in each tablet. The amoxicillin doses in the tablets vary.
- Augmentin ES: Available in the form of a liquid, this comes in two formula dosages viz.,
- Each 5ml containing 42.9mg of clavulanate and 600mg of amoxicillin.
- Each 5ml containing 57 mg of clavulanate and 400mg of amoxicillin.
- Augmentin XR: These are extended release available in tablet forms containing 1g of amoxicillin with 62.5mg of clavulanate.
It is advisable to take it before a light meal for better absorption of the clavulanate potassium and can also help to avoid any interference in the gastrointestinal region.
Side Effects of Augmentin
Augmentin is a safer drug to use in all age groups but still few side effects may occur at a certain level. These side effects may be common or at some stages, it may become severe. Patients with the weak renal system or those who took overdose may suffer from convulsions.
- Common side effects - It disappears after some time includes diarrhea or loose stools, vomiting, nausea, skin infections such as rashes or hives.
- Serious side effects - These are rare but occurs if the patient has a history of allergic reactions to penicillin It includes Severe skin rashes, easy bruising, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, yellowing of the skin or the whites of eyes, loss of appetite, dark or tea-colored urine.
If any of these symptoms occur then one should immediately call a doctor without any ignorance as it may be become fatal and can even lead to death.
Augmentin can have serious side effects, hence, it is important to understand the side effects of this medicine. Talk to your doctor about the necessary precautions which you need to take while using this medicine. If you develop any new or worsening side effects then get medical help immediately. Some of the side effects are allergic reaction, difficulty in breathing, hives, swelling of face and throat. Also, consult your doctor if you have
- Easy bruising
- Skin rash
- Severe tingling
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Sore throat
- Burning in the eyes
- Purple or red skin rashes
- Dark urine
- Stomach pain
- Dark stool
These side effects can get serious and even life threatening if not treated on time. There are certain other common side effects associated with this medicine.
- Stomach pain
- Yeast infection
- White patches
There can be other side effects as well apart from the ones listed.
Interaction with other drugs
There are a variety of drugs with which Augmentin interacts which can further result in an adverse effect on your body. It is therefore important that you inform your physician of any medicine, including OTC drugs, herbal supplements, nutritional shakes or powders, vitamins, recreational drugs, etc., when you are prescribed for Augmentin.
Some of the drugs which will react with Augmentin and hence has to be treated with care include,
- Bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin, Forfivo XL, Contrave, Aplenzin)
- Tramadol (Ultracet, Ultram)
- Tetracycline antibiotics like doxycycline and tetracycline
- Mycophenolate mofetil
- Blood thinners like Warfarin (Jantoven, Coumadin)
- Chloroquine (Aralen)
- Exenatide (Bydureon, Byetta)
- Methotrexate (Trexall, Rheumatrex)
- PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) like esomeprazole (Nexium), dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), rabeprazole (Aciphex) and omeprazole (Prilosec)
- Magnesium Citrate (Citroma)
What to avoid while on Augmentin?
- Alcohol is a dangerous combination with any medicine and Augmentin is no exception. A combination can cause dizziness and make you drowsy.
- Grapefruit juice is also not advisable while taking Augmentin. There is no clear understanding yet on how the liver reacts with the two together and it is therefore better to avoid consuming them together.
Contraindications of Augmentin
Antibiotics can have various side effects, hence it is important for patients to take the advice from a doctor and then take the medicines accordingly. Let your doctor know if you have any medical history or if you are using any prescription, non-prescription or any herbal product. Also, if you had a history of liver problems due to this medicine, do inform the doctor. In case of jaundice or kidney disease or mononucleosis, let the doctor know. Some patients can have allergies to medicines such as Cefprozil, cefdinir or crafting, etc. Taking Augmentin can worsen the situation in such patients. If you have an allergy to this medicine or its content then do not use it. Do not switch from one tablet form to another frequently. Stick to one tablet form when using this medicine. Follow the prescribed tablet form and the strength as per the doctor. The medicine can be either not effective or harmful in case the prescription details are not followed. Certain forms of this medicine may contain phenylalanine and can be harmful to patients suffering from phenylketonuria. Make sure that you take the medicine at the same time each day. In case of overdose, get immediate medical help as this can be life threatening.
Pregnancy and Augmentin
This medicine is not known yet to harm the fetus. If you are pregnant, then let the doctor know. Also, you can talk to your doctor for certain non-hormonal birth control methods, such as a diaphragm or condom, to help prevent pregnancy while using this medicine. The contents of this medicine can pass to the nursing baby through breast milk and harm the child. It is not advisable to breast feed the baby while using this medicine.
The doctor should be informed whether the patient is pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding. While there is no evidence of the drug having adverse effects on pregnancy and many doctors continue to prescribe it, given its ability to lower the estrogen levels, it is better to go with the doctor’s prescription during pregnancy.
If you are using contraceptive pills, then you might want to consider a back up for using Augmentin. Augmentin can lower the estrogen levels, making the effectiveness of the contraceptive pills to diminish. If you are using oral contraceptives, then consider taking another medicine or use a backup while having Augmentin.
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