Amoxicillin, together with Ampicillin, was one of the first semisynthetic antibiotics available on the market, being developed by Beecham in 1960. The drug was launched on the market in 1972.
The drug is used for treating a large number of infections, including pneumonia, skin infections, Salmonella, chlamydia, Lyme disease and otitis. Amoxicillin is also a key drug in preventing bacterial endocarditis for high-risk people, recovering from various surgical interventions. Also, the drug can work as a prevention tool for anthrax and strep pneumococcus infections. In the United Kingdom, the NHS recommends that amoxicillin should not be used to treat infectious endocarditis, although there were no changes in the prevalence and aggression of the disease. Amoxicillin is also a first-choice drug for curing bacterial sinusitis, although most sinusitis is viral, where antibiotics are not effective. Acne vulgaris is another disease which can be cured with this drug, particularly if it responded poorly to doxycycline and minocycline.
Dosage and directions
Dosage varies according to the disease, with doses ranging from 100 mg per day, to 3 grams per day in severe cases and aggressive infections.
Overdosage doesn’t usually exhibit serious clinical symptoms. Nonetheless, administration should stop and the symptoms should be treated as fast as possible. In severe cases renal failure is a risk. During pregnancy, Amoxicillin doesn’t present a serious risk, as the drug is not absorbed entirely by the fetus. Nevertheless, because studies are scarce, Amoxicillin should only be used by pregnant women if there is an obvious need for this drug.
Amoxicillin is available in trihydrate form and come as capsules, dispersible tablets, syrup, pediatric suspension and chewable tablets. The intravenous solution consists of sodium salt and other agents. The most common administration technique is orally, either in capsules, tablets or liquid form, especially for children.
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The side effects are similar to other antibiotics in the beta-lactam family. These include nausea, rashes, colitis, and vomiting in rare cases. Diarrhea is another symptom which can be observed. Insomnia, confusion, anxiety, light sensitivity and unclear thinking can be present, but these symptoms are isolate and usually mild. Allergic reactions, on the other hand, can be dangerous and they can be very intense. Immediate medical care should be provided in case these occur. The onset of such conditions includes rashness, itching and nausea. Rarely, after prolonged Amoxicillin administration, there is a slight risk of mild hepatitis. Children may exhibit renal dysfunction when the doses are large.