What is Augmentin?
Augmentin is a combination antibiotic that contains Amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium. The Amoxicillin, originally penicillin, works against bacterial infection while the clavulanate potassium works against bacterial immunity against penicillin.
Like all other antibiotics, Augmentin is also not effective against viral infections such as common cold and flu. It works only against bacterial infections such as upper respiratory tract infections including bronchitis and pneumonia. Other than these two, it is also effective against UTIs and some skin infections.
It is a prescription medicine that comes under the category of ‘broad-spectrum antibiotics’ and is effective against several bacterial infections.
The dosage depends on the potency of the prescribed medicine. The patient can take it either after every eight or 12 hours. The main component of the drug that is penicillin does not have any relevance with the food intake for its absorption. It means that penicillin alone gets absorbed in the bloodstream no matter the patient takes it with or without food. However, the Clavulanic potassium works more effectively if taken after meals.
To avoid diarrhea after taking a dose of Augmentin, the patient must take a light meal.
For children who get prescribed with the suspension of Augmentin, it is crucial to make sure the medicine is administered through a dropper or a measuring spoon. A parent should be careful not to administer the medication with a regular spoon.
The suspension should be made according to the instructions of the doctor and refrigerating it is a must. Any leftover antibiotic should be discarded immediately to avoid misuse.
Remember that antibiotics such as Augmentin are only effective against bacterial infections. When your doctor prescribes it, it is crucial to take care of the number of days you are prescribed for the medicine.
Abruptly discontinuing Augmentin can cause resistance in the bacteria against the medicine in future infections. Not only for Augmentin, but it can also cause other antibiotic medicines to lose their effectiveness in the body.
Augmentin is a generally well-accepted medicine with most people not facing any side effects while using it. However, high dosages may lead to side effects such as diarrhea or loose stool.
In some cases, skin rashes may develop while on Augmentin therapy.
Uncommon side effects include abdominal discomfort or headaches.
Augmentin, if overdosed can cause severe symptoms such as stomach pain and vomiting. Other than that it can cause a skin rash, hyperactivity or drowsiness in some patients.
In case of a recent over dosage, forced vomiting (emesis) may be induced to remove the stomach contents.
Augmentin should not be prescribed to the patients who are allergic to penicillin.
A medical practitioner should be careful enough to know the renal and hepatic history of the patient before prescribing Augmentin.
It can cause severe allergic reactions in patients with hepatic impairment.
Augmentin excretes in the breast milk so, it is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers.
The medical practitioner must take a thorough history of the patient before prescribing Augmentin since it can show allergic reactions in patients with penicillin hypersensitivity.