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Amoxicillin is a penicillin-based antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections, including:
Amoxicillin is a prescription drug sold under the brand name Amoxil, among others. It is taken orally in the form of liquid (usually for younger children), a chewable tablet, or a pill. It can also be given by injection.
Amoxicillin should be taken at the same time every day for the duration of treatment. It is important to follow instructions and finish all prescribed medication as directed.
The bottle for liquid amoxicillin should be shaken before measuring each dose to ensure the medication is mixed evenly.
Amoxicillin can be added to water, milk, formula, or juice to make it more palatable for children or infants. Once mixed, it needs to be taken immediately and not saved for a later time.
It is important to take amoxicillin as indicated on your prescription and follow all directions, labels, guides, warnings, and instruction sheets.
Several common side effects can occur when taking amoxicillin. These include:
For the majority of people, nausea and diarrhea are the most common side effects. Liquid amoxicillin can also stain teeth, though this is temporary and may be removed by brushing with regular toothpaste.
Using this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may also result in oral thrush or a vaginal yeast infection (oral or vaginal fungal infection).
Some people are hypersensitive to amoxicillin and other penicillin derivatives and can have more severe reactions. Report any of the following side effects to a doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
In addition, some people may experience a severe allergic reaction to amoxicillin. Signs of a serious allergic reaction include:
If this occurs, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.
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While it is possible to drink alcohol while on some antibiotics, including amoxicillin, it is generally not advised by most healthcare professionals.
Antibiotics carry the risk of side effects, such as headache, nausea, and dizziness, which can be worsened by drinking alcohol. These interaction effects are often also caused by alcohol use on their own.
With certain antibiotics, such as metronidazole and tinidazole, alcohol consumption should be strictly avoided.
It is generally best to refrain from drinking alcohol while suffering from an infection or feeling unwell, as alcohol will likely make you feel worse, regardless of how it interferes with the antibiotic’s efficacy.
Several side effects can occur by mixing amoxicillin and alcohol, with most of these being potential escalations of side effects that can occur from taking either substance individually.
These side effects include:
Most of these side effects could be experienced by ingesting amoxicillin on its own, but consuming alcohol can exacerbate symptoms — or may cause them to occur if they were not already present.
In addition to the side effects listed above, several other risks are associated with mixing amoxicillin and alcohol.
These risks include:
It is possible to drink alcohol while taking amoxicillin, so there is no mandatory period of abstinence following treatment with this antibiotic.
However, it is still advised that patients complete the entire course of antibiotics before consuming any amount of alcohol to allow the body to fully recover.
Since only a doctor can prescribe amoxicillin, it is essential to be honest about any underlying conditions, alcohol consumption, or substance use disorder. This allows your doctor to make an informed decision about prescribing amoxicillin.
If your doctor prescribes amoxicillin, be sure to do the following:
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