Overview

Amoxicillin is the most commonly prescribed antibiotic in the United States. Unfortunately, the widespread use of this penicillin-like drug has led many bacteria to develop resistance to it.

By adding clavulanic acid to the formulation, scientists created a medication, Augmentin, that is effective against many bacteria that are not susceptible to amoxicillin alone. This broad-spectrum antibiotic is effective in fighting infections in many parts of the body including the urinary tract, skin, sinuses, lungs, ears, throat and genital tract.

Side Effects and Interactions

The most common side effects of Augmentin involve digestive tract upset. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can be troublesome for some people. Other adverse reactions to be aware of include skin rash, itching, vaginal infections, stomachache, gas, headache and vomiting.

Less common but possibly more serious side effects include liver enzyme elevations, anemia, blood disorders and psychological reactions. Report any symptoms to your physician promptly.

Long-term treatment with penicillin-type antibiotics requires periodic monitoring by a health professional.

Augmentin may interfere with some urine tests for diabetes and produce false positive results. Augmentin should not be taken with tetracycline or some other antibiotics. Notify your doctor if you are on such a drug for a different condition.

Special Precautions

Because amoxicillin is related to penicillin, anyone who is allergic to this class of antibiotics must generally avoid such drugs like the plague.

Symptoms such as breathing difficulty, wheezing, sneezing, hives, itching, and skin rash require immediate emergency treatment. Life-threatening anaphylactic shock may produce an inability to breathe and cardiovascular collapse and can occur within minutes of exposure.

If you experience a serious reaction and you ever have to go into the hospital, make sure a sign is placed over the bed alerting hospital personnel to penicillin allergy.

Taking the Medicine

Augmentin can be taken with meals or on an empty stomach. It is generally best swallowed with a full eight-ounce glass of water.

To maintain adequate levels of the medicine in your body, it is usually recommended that doses be given every eight hours. Check with your pharmacist to see how you should adjust your schedule to get the third dose in on time.

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  1. Tony
    Houston, Texas
    Reply

    I was admitted to the hospital for a perirectal abscess, and was given a regimen of intravenous antibiotics (along with morphine every four hours to control the pain). I was prescribed Amox/K Clav (20 pills) after I was released. I had night sweats for a couple of days, but they went away. I made sure I took the medicine with food, along with a Zantac which helped to control some of the stomach distress, although I did find myself having more frequent bowel movements. I had some problems with insomnia and a general feeling of “loopiness”, although I can’t contribute that directly to the medication. The abscess is gone, I’m not in pain, and I didn’t need surgery this time. Taking it was worth the side effects for me.

  2. dia
    United States
    Reply

    Have been on Amoxicillin and Clavulanic Acid for a tooth that had to be extracted and for a hole in a sinus cavity with the infection still up there. Was already on 7 days of just the amox and felt great prior to going to the dentist. The tooth still had to come out since it broke apart and abscessed the week before. The oral surgeon gave me a numbing agent, which only lasted for hour. The tooth came out in pieces, and they patched up hole, along with giving me this drug.

    After severe screaming pain on Friday, I am now on my 3rd day of Amox/Clav. So far the worst side affects are the pressure in my upper gut, burping from acid reflux, breathing problems, and trouble falling asleep. At 2 or 3 in morning I am still awake.

    I will go to holistic doctor soon so he can help me through and neutralize any side effects. My tooth is better but my gut hurts. Taking a potent drink of probiotic prescribed by my holistic doc, not like any you can buy, really helps.

    That is a wicked drug, and I’m so sorry for the side effects everyone is having. I have 7 more days on this. So, the breathing problem and not sleeping are the worst. I do wake up with a headache, and then it goes away. But I get dry-mouthed, and my lips crack. I can’t wait to get to a holistic doctor. If you’re having serious issues, get off it.

    Blessings

  3. Ben
    Australia
    Reply

    I had a reaction to this medication as a child, a full body skin rash, but not serious at all, I wouldn’t have noticed it if not for the funny looks of my family. Just now have had a very similar to amoxicillin, though I’m pretty sure I’ve been prescribed it before without any reaction. Perhaps it’s because this time was in conjunction with an anti-inflammatory?

    Anyway, it’s a little disappointing to read many of the comments here. Severe infections can be life threatening, and it’s very sensible to prescribe a strong medicine. Thousands of people take this and other medicines daily, and many lives are saved. Of course it’s terribly unfortunate that a few people have severe reactions, but that’s not to say the medicine is bad. Biochemistry is extremely complex, and killing an invasive debilitating organism without any collateral damage, especially since we are all slightly different, is impossible. As a suggestion to those with ongoing digestive tract problems, remember that antibiotics kill bacteria, and your body hosts many bacteria that are actually necessary to our digestion, so it’s likely your troubles are from lack of this bacteria, rather than the medicine itself, per se. Probiotics (yoghurt family) may help, or in extreme cases a fecal transplant – an unfortunate name, since no fecal matter is actually transplanted, what happens is the intestinal bacteria from a healthy donor is given to someone else, fixing their lack of digestive bacteria.

  4. Barbara W.
    Lexington, KY
    Reply

    I was prescribed Augmentin and a steroid just to get the inflammation out before taking a scan of my sinuses. I have been suffering for three months and see no end to it. Can only eat a bland diet. Have stomach pains and no appetite. Doctors have done all the tests and can find nothing. They say this was caused by Augmentin. How long will my stomach be messed up?

  5. heather
    lapeer
    Reply

    I was given this medicine for a severe ear infection and white patches on my tonsils. From my first dose I experienced severe dizziness and nausea. I’m a type 2 diabetic I took my 4th dose and it will be the last. This medicine is absolutely horrible. Be careful

  6. Cheryl
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Reply

    My husband is having severe headaches ( like lightning striking with pain in his head) and fever with this, guess some people do well on this medication and other do not.

  7. TR
    Texas
    Reply

    I was prescribed amox clav for a sinus infection. I started taking it on a Friday, and by Sunday I was miserable. I couldn’t eat anything without being sick, I had a headache, chills/sweats, and was exhausted. I kept taking it for 1 more day and then called my doctor to see if I could switch to something else. She just told me she would prescribe anti-nausea medication. I tried that and it still didn’t help. I stopped taking it on Tuesday night and am still feeling sick, but I can at least eat some bland foods now. I’m really hoping I feel better soon as it’s been a very unproductive week for me at work because of this awful medicine. I will definitely be requesting something different if it is prescribed to me again!

  8. Cate
    US
    Reply

    I took this medication as directed, after reading the horror stories here. I read every bit of the paperwork and took the augmentin with a meal and made sure to drink plenty of water, in my case it was well over an 8 ounce glass. I had no problems at all. Fifth dose today, with breakfast, juice and lots of water, still no issues at all..and it’s working. My advice is to talk with doctor or pharmacist and take all the rest with a grain of salt.

  9. rehanon
    USA
    Reply

    I was prescribed Augmentin for some sinus problems. I had previously told this new doctor I couldn’t take it, because of stomach issues. Well he gave it to me anyway, abd I stupidly thought ‘well it has been 15 years, and things change.’ So I took one days dose. And then proceeded to have stomach issues for over 3 weeks.

    Every time I ate anything that contained protein I had issues. In the beginning it caused bloating and vomiting. Later it just lead to heart burn, bloating, and nausea. It didn’t matter if it was meat, dairy, or soy protein I wasn’t able to tolerate it. I couldn’t even eat my daily yogurt to help make it better. It has finally begun to get a little better. It is crazy that 2 pills can do that much damage, almost a month of issues. No thank you Augmentin, I’ll stick to the ones I can handle if absolutely necessary. I still believe a lot of medicines do more harm to us than good.

  10. Joanne
    Silver Spring, MD
    Reply

    Urgent care nurse practitioner prescribed Augmentin for my sinus infection. I was shocked to see that there are 20 tablets for the entire course. Dreaded that. 3 tablets and 3 bouts of diarrhea so far. Thanks for sharing your experiences everyone. I am now convinced that I should stop taking it. My stomach has not stopped being queasy. It keeps churning and making noises. I am nauseous and my head spins a little. Furthermore, just read an article that our body naturally cures sinus infection (viral or bacterial) without the help of antibiotics. Antibiotics shall just be given with patients with illness that make them weaker to fight eg diabetes, etc.

  11. Janet
    College Station, Texas
    Reply

    I was prescribed this medicine for a sinus infection. After the first dose, I began having diarrhea. Next day, the horrid headaches began and the fever. By Day 4, I was in so much stomach distress I had to miss work and slept most of Day 5. Sweats, chills and fever not to mention the aggressive diarrhea and stomach pains. By Day 7 I quit taking the medicine and now trying to cure my diarrhea, stomach pains and fever. This is Day 8. I will never take this again. If you have to take this medicine, proceed with extreme caution. After reading other comments I’m hoping I stopped soon enough and I’ll be able to get to my normal self soon.

  12. Bnc
    Reply

    White pus on tonsils*

  13. Bnc
    Long Island, NY
    Reply

    My doctor was closed last Thanksgiving and an urgent care Center prescribed me Augmentin for severely bad strep throat (ugly puss blotches all over my stomach) 3 days on the pill did nothing, the puss spreading, when. You doctor returned I got Z-pack and the infection went away immediately, with that said, my stomach has not been the same since Augmentin my bowel movements have changed for the worst and my gastrointestinal doctor could only surmise that the augmentin rewired the way my stomach works

    Stay away from this drug

  14. Ena
    usa
    Reply

    2nd day using this med and it resulted in serious uncontrollable diarrhea… hope this was a one-time event- very uncomfortable…

  15. derrick
    Reply

    I was pre-prescribed this medicine amox clav for 10 days for a nasal infection… minutes after taking it, I broke out in sweats. I have used the bathroom diarrhea 4 times in 4 hours worst of all I have severe chest pain which I have NEVER experienced before. Feels like you’re dying when you take this gross medicine

  16. Eve
    Hudson, NC
    Reply

    I am 71 and have trouble swallowing pills. Can this medication, AMOX TR-K CLV 875-125 MG TAB, be crushed and taken with applesauce?

  17. MaryO
    Reply

    Worked just as intended to treat an infected cat bite. No side effects.

  18. Shalunda
    Reply

    I was given augmentin for a toothache. I took one pill and went to bed. When I woke up my face was swollen beyond recognition. I went back to the hospital only to find out I was having an allergic reaction. Funny I never had a reaction before. 100 cc’s of benadryl and steroids for a whole week.

  19. CM
    Reply

    I was given Augmentin for a sinus infection at the beginning of the year. Right after finishing my two week course, I stated getting extremely itchy and was tested for a yeast infection which came back negative. I also had blood work done and had an elevated lipase… No liver or pancreas inflammation, but have changes in my duodenum plus inflammation, chronic stomach and intestinal issues, chronic loose sticky stools, am now lactose intolerant and can’t eat red meat, pork, can’t tolerate gluten and have lost weight.
    I am currently low FODMAP diet, gluten and dairy free. I’ve been to numerous doctors. No one seems to be able to heal my gut, not even with high dose probiotics and bland diet. One test (CDSA) showed Augmentin pretty much wiped out all of my good bacteria. I took OTC probiotics while taking it and for weeks afterward, but obviously it didn’t help. I didn’t have any of these issues before. I think someone needs to look into this drug and the side effects more. What good is an antibiotic if a person is sicker after taking it? It has been nearly eight months since I took it and I’m still sick and low energy since I have malabsorption now as well.

    • Stomach issues
      Texas
      Reply

      I am having pretty much the same issues. Took this in May and it somehow broke something in my stomach and now I also have low white blood cells!!

    • Angelina
      MO
      Reply

      I took this about 4 weeks ago and am still extremely itchy, like my skin is oversensitive. I have been so miserable. I have an appointment in 2 days. I am changing doctors in hopes of an answer. What did they say was up with your itchiness?

  20. Sara
    Reply

    Diagnosed with a sinus infection and was given this antibiotic I have only taken two pills out of the 20 I have to take and each time immediately after I got a severe headache and stomach pain. I then got diarrhea and it felt like bugs were crawling on me. The side effects seem to last for hours. I hope that it will fade as I continue to finish my antibiotics if not the doctor may need to put me on something else because this is horrible.

  21. sgs
    Reply

    Age 57 male was given this drug (amox tr-k clv 875-125 mg) for sinus infection but was in there because acquired a tick bite from three days early…. take drug two times a day for 10 days… about the 7th day a little nausea but didn’t think about it to much..
    but then day 8 super joint pain, headaches, chills, slight fever, sweats… by the way sinus infection gone in three to four days.
    I was reminded by the doctor to finish the medication.. yeah yeah heard that before.. went back to doctor day 8 I knew either drug or tick bite.. doctor examined me was told not tick that this drug can cause ALL KINDS OF POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS…STOP TAKING THIS
    Started on 5 June now the 16th still.. still joint pain, headache, woke up this morning in a full sweat…just soaked head to toe, try to take the pain as much as possible.. use advil.. 20 minutes later its like unlocking the body everything felt as before I ever took this drug… sorry forgot also pain on both sides of body… now I think was my kidneys… not a drinker, smoker, drug user.. believing in healthy living… never sick… work in public for over 25 years… I am never… NEVER JUST GOING TO TRUST WHAT DOCTOR PRESCRIBES…
    I can’t tell you all the checking a do with businesses, contractor, companies, and peoples on the NET…. why didn’t I check… IF YOU CAN STAY WITH THE OLD TRIED AND TRUE… DON’T GO OUT OF THE BOX ON THIS… I swear the pharmaceutical companies are using us as guinea pigs… and getting away with it… and ours laws are letting them…. so many death are acceptable in their eyes… I CAN’T BELIEVE I DIDN’T CHECK…… WARNING…. WARNING… WARNING….

    • JJ
      USA
      Reply

      SGS – Upon reading your post and having been treated in the past for acute Lyme Disease, under care of USA’s top LLMDs (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor), what you describe regarding the correlation of having been bit by a tick and the reaction you experienced from Augmentin COULD POSSIBLY very well be a Herx reaction.

      IF you had a spirochete infection, the antibiotic upon killing the organisms will release this killing off of toxins into your blood stream which exacerbates your symptoms. HOWEVER – the good news is that you’re victorying over the infection, killing of infection. Many patients undergoing Lyme Disease treatment will state, “I feel worse on the antibiotic,” not realizing they have to get worse before they get better. Sinusitis is not uncommon for those infected with Lyme Disease, it is multsystemic and affects throughout your system. Hopefully you are doing better, and hopefully it was only sinusitis. IF you have infection of Lyme Disease as well, it will have been a blessing regarding that the onset of your sinusitis allowed you to encounter and examine further the possibility for Lyme Disease and its treatment. Best to you – JJ

    • grw
      ny
      Reply

      Since its been a most a year since your post, I am curious how you are doing because I have similar effects as you after taking this drug for 11 days… thanks..

  22. RFS
    Reply

    I was prescribed the amox/k clav for a severe ear infection. Along with this prednisone steroids. I took my first dose this morning. 5 hours later I began to get queasy. 5 minutes later I was throwing all my breakfast up and into the garbage can. I will try it once more but if it happens again I will discontinue using it.

  23. MCN
    Reply

    I was told to take this with food, but forgot one time on my fourth dose. Within minutes of taking the pill, I started to get severe heartburn and nausea. It was so intense, I swear my esophagus was burned. Now it feels as though there is a lump in my chest in that spot, and it hurts to swallow anything when it passes that spot. I stopped taking the medicine in fear of the pain, but it’s been three days and I’m still feeling awful. I keep burping up stomach acid and I’ve hardly eaten since then because of how painful it was. Never had heartburn before like this!!

    • Jean
      texas
      Reply

      I too experienced terrible heartburn – thought I was having a heart attack! The absolute worse I’ve ever experienced. My throat and chest literally burned! I thought is was the sandwich I had eaten with onions! I drank milk, drank water, ate a slice of bread, tried Rol Aids, and it finally subsided. I took it with food and have continued to take it with food, but still have some heart burn – not as severe as the first time! I’m hoping this sinus infection will hurry up and heal, but so far, I’m still fighting it and it seems a bit better every day. Just can’t stand the heart burn!

    • Summer
      GA
      Reply

      I Am so glad to be reading these comments. I am being treated with Augmentin for a sinus infection and have the worst heartburn/chest pain of my life. I feel like I am dying. Wow this stuff is awful. Comforting to see I am not alone and not life threatening. Thank you.

  24. ejh
    Reply

    Well I’ve been taking this drug for fours days now, I have black stools? Is this a common effect?
    People’s Pharmacy response: Black stools generally warrant a call to the doctor’s office, with the exception of Pepto-Bismol. It could indicate intestinal bleeding and should be checked out.

  25. cas
    Reply

    I have been prescribed Amoxiclav for 100 days for a spinal infection. I am usually very stoic but three weeks in to the course I am suffering very bad nausea and am trying to work with difficulty. I am wondering if this situation passes off with time. I have tried to eat more, peppermint and ginger ale but nothing works. I know I need to take the whole course to try and cure the severe back pain I have endured for the past 7 years. Any advice welcome I am very despondent if I can continue on with this…

    • JMS
      Reply

      Hi CAS. I was recently prescribed Amox. for the same type of thing. I noticed you posted in April of 2014. Did it work for the back issues? How did it work out? Did it cure the back pain? How did you end up dealing with the other side effects? Any info is much appreciated. Thank you.

      • RRS
        ohio
        Reply

        I found that it’s the clavulanic acid or potassium clavulanate added to the amoxicillin that I can’t tolerate. No problem with pure penicillin or amoxicillin. I suspect many others will also find this true. Unfortunately the process of finding this out is not so pleasant.

  26. Mjh
    Reply

    I was prescribed Amox trk clv 875 125 for bronchitis. I have only felt tired and hurt around the heart area with a warm feeling. I haven’t been able to sleep well. I was given z PAC 2 weeks before with only minimal results. Hope this is working, tired of checking compatibility of drugs. I am type 2 diabetic and blood tests are very low at times with amox. I will continue to use if no other problems are encountered.

  27. Jj
    Reply

    I was given this medication for a sinus infection and the first day taking it I noted could not sleep that night. I ended up with fever, horrible aches, hallucinations and it wired me so I could not sleep. Worst night of my life, would not take again.

  28. Kim
    Reply

    I was given this drug, like others, for sinus infection, along with Methylprednisolone. The Prednisone made me very irritable, very restless and gave me insomnia. I was so focused on those side effects from the other med that I didn’t notice the side effects from the Amoxicillin at first. Or perhaps they weren’t there – not sure.
    But with about two days left for the antibiotic, I started to have lower back and lower abdominal cramping. I had this once before but in my stomach when I took clindamycin, a very dull, aching throbbing feeling. Other than the cramping I have had no other side effects. The sinus infection appears to have gone away – with the exception of the swollen left eye that I always seem to get when I have a sinus infection. Hoping that the dull aching pain will go away now that I have stopped taking the meds since yesterday.

  29. PM
    Reply

    My dentist prescribed this medication for an abscessed tooth. The dose is described as 875/125 mg. The pharmacist cautioned me to take only with food. I made a point of eating a substantial lunch and took the first dose mid-meal. After approximately one hour I began frequent projectile vomiting, which lasted about 24 hours, and began to decrease in frequency after 8 to 10 hours.
    My distinct impression is that a second dose would have put me in the E.R., a third may not have been survivable.
    I’m a 66 year old male who is not allergic to penicillin. In fact, my dentist switched me to penicillin, which worked fine.

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