Augmentin is a brand name for a commonly prescribed antibiotic comprised of a combination of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium.
Augmentin is a co-amoxiclav (meaning it contains a combination of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium) antibiotic used to cure a number of antibiotic infections in the body.
The ingredients in Augmentin, amoxicillin trihydrate, is a β-lactam antibiotic belonging to a class of drugs known as penicillins. Amoxicillin can prevent bacteria from forming a cell wall, which results in the death of the bacterium.
Amoxicillin is commonly prescribed to treat bacterial infections such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, strep throat and skin infections.
Amoxicillin is largely ineffective against bacteria that produce beta-lactamase, which is an enzyme that can degrade amoxicillin. Therefore, amoxicillin is combined with clavulanate potassium, which is a form of clavulanic acid.
Clavulanic acid can inhibit the beta-lactamase enzyme produced by certain bacteria. As a result, amoxicillin in combination with clavulanic acid can fight a range of bacteria including the ones that can produce beta-lactamase.
Augmentin is available as 625 mg oral tablets. The drug is also available in extra strength and extended release versions.
Augmentin is a strong antibiotic that should only be consumed as prescribed by a physician.
The dosage of Augmentin will vary depending on the type of bacterial infection and the weight of the host.
Regular Augmentin tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water. Augmentin chewable tablets should be chewed before swallowing. Augmentin extended release tablets should not be crushed or chewed. Doing so will cause the full dose to be released into the body immediately and can increase the possibility of harmful side effects.
If Augmentin causes an upset stomach, take the tablet with or after a meal.
Augmentin should be taken for the amount of time as instructed by the physician. Halting the treatment midway or missing a dose will cause the infection to return, and might also result in the infection-causing bacteria becoming antibiotic resistant.
Augmentin is known to cause the following side effects:
Stomach pain or upset stomach
Skin rash and itching
Vaginal itching, discharge or yeast infection
Side effects other than the listed above could occur.
Augmentin may cause Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD), a severe disease marked by loose, foul-smelling watery stools. CDAD should be treated immediately to avoid a potentially life-threatening situation.
Therefore, immediately inform a doctor if diarrhea caused by Augmentin becomes worse or persists over time.
Do not take Augmentin if allergic to amoxicillin or clavulanate potassium. Individuals who are allergic to penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics are likely to be allergic to Augmentin as well.
Augmentin may not be safe for use for individuals with a history of liver disease, kidney disease and certain types of viral infections such as infectious mononucleosis.
Augmentin should only be used during pregnancy if it’s absolutely necessary. Consult a physician regarding the safety of Augmentin when breastfeeding or attempting to get pregnant.
Augmentin lowers estrogen levels, and therefore causes birth control pills to be less effective.
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