What Is Amoxicillin-Clavulanate?
Amoxicillin-Clavulanate is a combination drug prescribed for bacterial infections in the body. It is commonly used to treat conditions like
- Streptococcal pharyngitis (infection in the back of the throat)
- Bronchitis (infection in the bronchial tubes)
- Middle Ear Infection
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- Different skin infections
It is available in the form of oral capsules, suspension liquids, and injections.
It has been added to WHO’s List of Essential Medicines.
In 2019 alone, about 25,702,634 prescriptions of amoxicillin were given out to treat different bacterial infections in adults and children.
Amoxicillin is sold under different brand names, including Amoxil, Moxatag, Clavulin, Talicia, and Prevpac.
Can Amoxicillin-Clavulanate Be Used To Treat Tooth Infections?
Yes, amoxicillin is prescribed to treat tooth infections and tooth pain.
Usually, a combination of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid is used to improve the effectiveness of the drug.
How Does Amoxicillin-Clavulanate Work?
Amoxicillin belongs to the penicillin class of antibiotics.
It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
It interferes with the integrity of the bacteria's cell wall, ultimately killing them.
Clavulanic acid is in a class of medications called beta-lactamase inhibitors.
It protects amoxicillin from any attacks by the bacteria.
Usually, the dosage of antibacterial medications recommended depends on the type of bacteria.
Some bacteria have thicker outer walls and may need a higher drug dosage to kill them.
How Long Does It Take For Amoxicillin-Clavulanate To Work?
The body quickly absorbs amoxicillin, and peak levels may be reached between 1-2 hours.
However, it may take 2 days for the infection symptoms to reduce after taking amoxicillin-clavulanate.
It is important to not discontinue the course immediately after this.
Completing the full course is important for effective treatment.
How Long Does It Take For Amoxicillin-Clavulanate To Be Eliminated From The Body?
The half-life of amoxicillin is about 61.3 minutes, and 60% of the drug is eliminated through urine in 8 hours.
Half-life is the time taken for the drug’s active component to reduce by half in the body.
Half-life determines how slowly or quickly a drug is metabolized and eliminated from the system.
Side Effects Of Amoxicillin-Clavulanate
Some of the common side effects are:
- Skin rashes
- Taste changes
Some of the severe side effects are:
- Breathing difficulties
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Blisters in the skin or skin peeling
- Bloody diarrhea
- Liver damage
Please notify your doctor if you experience any discomfort after using the medicine.
Can You Take Amoxicillin On An Empty Stomach?
Yes, you can take amoxicillin on an empty stomach.
If you experience gastrointestinal problems like an upset stomach, nausea, or bloating, then consume it after a meal.
Will Amoxicillin Make You Sleepy?
Most antibiotics can make you slightly tired and sleepy because of their mechanism of action. It is normal to feel tired and sleepy while on amoxicillin.
However, if you feel excessively tired, sleepy, and experience a lack of energy, get medical attention right away.
Interactions With Other Drugs
Amoxicillin-clavulanate may interact with other drugs and lead to changes in drug efficacy or severe side effects. Notify your doctor if you use any of the below medicines along with amoxicillin.
- Probenecid and Allopurinol (used in treating gout)
- Anticoagulants (blood thinners used to prevent the formation of blood clots)
- Oral contraceptives
- Other antibiotics
HLA-DQB1 Gene And Amoxicillin-Clavulanate
The HLA-DQB1 gene (major histocompatibility complex, class II, DQ beta 1 gene) provides instructions to produce a protein that plays an important role in the functioning of the immune system.
This gene helps the immune system differentiate between its proteins and the proteins of foreign substances like bacteria and viruses.
There are hundreds of HLA-DQB1 gene changes identified in the human body.
rs9274407 is a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) in the HLA-DQB1 gene.
People with the A allele of this SNP have an increased chance of developing Drug-Induced Liver Injury (DILI) when treated with amoxicillin when compared to people with the T allele.
DILI is a condition that causes liver injuries due to the administration of certain drugs.
|A||Increased risk of developing DILI when amoxicillin-clavulanate is administered|
|T||Reduced risk of developing DILI when amoxicillin-clavulanate is administered|
Recommendations To Safely Use Amoxicillin-Clavulanate
Some people may be allergic to amoxicillin-clavulanate and develop allergy symptoms, including the following.
- Swelling of the tongue, throat, lips, and face
- Itching and rashes in the skin
- Breathing difficulties
Very few people may be extremely sensitive to amoxicillin and develop anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions that may be life-threatening).
Look out for allergic reactions that may develop immediately or up to 24 hours after administering the drug.
Amoxicillin overdose may lead to the below conditions.
- Hematuria (blood in urine)
- Acute diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
An extreme overdose may lead to kidney failure, which may be reversed with immediate treatment.
Usage In People With Kidney Failure
People with existing renal conditions have to be monitored carefully while on antibiotics like amoxicillin-clavulanate.
In most cases, the doctors will alter the drug dosage to prevent the risk of renal damage.
Drug-Induced Liver Injury (DILI)
In rare cases, amoxicillin-clavulanate may induce liver injuries in healthy individuals. In most cases, the symptoms of liver injury improve once the drug is discontinued. Studies show that the risk of liver injury due to amoxicillin is 0.3 in 10,000 prescriptions.
Check for symptoms like tender abdomen, abdominal pain, and nausea after using amoxicillin, and consult a doctor to rule out DILI.
Usage During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), pregnant and lactating women may use amoxicillin-clavulanate to treat bacterial infections when the benefits outweigh the risks.
As of date, there are no clinical studies that relate the drug to abortions, congenital defects, or fetal harm.
While a small percentage of the drug is expressed in breastmilk, it may not cause adverse side effects to the baby.
However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, discuss the possible effects with your doctor before using it.
Genetic testing will help understand a person’s risk of developing Drug-Induced Liver Injury because of amoxicillin. If the risk is high, doctors may consider reducing the drug dosage or using an alternate drug to treat infections.
- Amoxicillin is an antibiotic used to treat various infections like bronchitis, middle ear infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and other skin infections.
- Amoxicillin is a generic medicine available as oral drugs, suspension, liquids, and injections.
- Amoxicillin works by preventing the bacteria from forming outer walls and inhibiting bacterial growth and multiplication.
- Some of the side effects of amoxicillin are nausea, headaches, vomiting, skin rashes, changes in taste, and liver damage.
- Amoxicillin may interact with anticoagulants, gout medications, oral contraceptives, and other antibiotics and lead to severe side effects or changes in drug efficacy.
- HLA-DQB1 gene changes may increase the risk of Drug-Induced Liver Injury (DILI) in patients who use amoxicillin.
- Amoxicillin may lead to allergic reactions in a few people and cause hives, rashes, breathing difficulties, and swelling. Amoxicillin overdose can lead to renal failure in a few rare cases.
- Genetic testing can help understand a person's risk for developing Drug-Induced Liver Injury upon using amoxicillin. This will help doctors adjust drug dosages or use alternate drugs in place of amoxicillin.