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 of Augmentin

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. Beverly

    I too am taking Augmentin for sinusitis. I haven’t tolerated any antibiotics very well for a long time. I take it with food and after brief acid stomach feeling, am fine. I have been an RN for over 40 years. Antibiotics used to never bother me but as I entered my late 40’s, it changed. Everyone responds different to all medications. I always encouraged patients to be an informed consumer. Web MD has a good information website for medications.

  2. Jerome

    I took Augmentin for four days for an upper respiratory infection. I was suppose to take it for 10 days. Since day one the stuff made me feel awful as others have said worse than the infection I was being treated for. I had dizziness, headache, stomach pain, and nausea. By day four I took it and a few hours later had to run to the bathroom and throw up.

    I immediately quit taking it and had horrible diarrhea for the next 3 days. I had to call in sick from work and laid on my couch in and out of consciousness for two days. Avoid this at all costs! Of course this could just be me but by judging from all of the other comments this stuff is terrible. Good luck if you are currently taking this crap.

  3. Temilade

    I took Augmentin 625 for typhoid fever 2× 7 days… I tell you the first 3 days was mild.. After then I started having this funny feeling of upper abdominal pain,body pain, chest pain and palpitations.. It wasnt funny at all… am done with it now but I still feel slight chest pain and body ache too.. My pharmacist asked me to take more of water for the side effects to wear out speedily.. I pray I will never take Augmetin again!

  4. Sheila

    I went to the dentist to get help for my teeth, found out I had decay, lots of it. I was having pain but after x rays at one place, I was told nothing was seen so I went to a different place and got help.

    I was given Amoxicillin for a week taking it 3 x’s a day 500 mg. but since it takes like 6 days to kick in I was having head aches and felt poorly. On day six, I started feeling better. After more treatment and telling the dentist, he put me on Amoxicillin with Clavulanic Acid 875 mg/125 mg. two times a day, every twelve hours. The only time I had diarrhea was the first night of Amoxicillin and then it stopped after Imodium, gas x, and Physillium seed mixed up in hot/warm water. Took a total of 4 immodium and I even wore a diaper brief, just to be careful. After that no more issues.

    I was glad to get help to save my teeth even though I had to get new crowns, and a root canal. I took 7 days of Amoxicillin and 7 days of the Augmentin. I see my dentist soon and hopefully I can get one damaged tooth extracted since I had an infusion of Reclast to save my bones from getting worse. So have to find out if I can get a very decayed tooth removed. I do not want bacteria staying in my jaw.

    I did not have any more problems with the antibiotics and plan to keep taking probiotics 50 billion a day to help my gut. I think I may need to take more antibiotics after getting the tooth pulled. Can not believe all the trouble with dentists and happy to find a good group of people to help me. I was shown the decay and could see the problem with my own eyes. No problem with this med although I guess problems can come later, but just eat right and take probiotics. Keeping the infection in your body is worse for your organs, so I would rather take the antibiotics.

  5. Evelyn Goins
    North Carolina

    I was prescribed Amox-Clav(Augmentin) for 5 days for urinary tract infection and after 3 days developed a blistering type clusters on eyelids,above eyes, below eyes and on areas of face. This itchey rash leaves skin looking like you had a bad sunburn with scaling, also stomach pains and cramping, bloating and diarrhea. I did finish taking however, I will definitely will not take again.Still recovering. I am 80 yrs. old(female).

  6. Judith

    I am also taking Augmentin now and have felt nauseous and have had stomach pains that feel like severe gas expanding my stomach. I have taken Amoxicillin alone many times with no side effects at all. I also stopped taking the Augmentin after the second day when I took it on a partially empty stomach and felt worse than the condition I was taking it for was making me feel. I have 3 days left and believe me I have put on weight over the last week just from ensuring my stomach is full before I take it. Seems nuts. I am going to contact the pharmacist and see if they can give ma an alternative to finish out the week. The symptoms of the sinusitis I am taking the med it for are reduced but have not been eliminated. smh

  7. Maddie
    Queensland, Australia

    I was prescribed AmoxClav for a sinus infection. I took the first one and a few moments late, I got an intense fever with sweats – my body just kicked all the bugs out of it! My stomach is so painful, nothing helped, not even paracetamol or nurofen. I had to take my 2nd dose lastnight :s I couldn’t sleep because of the stomach ache! It was so unbelievably unbearable, I almost cried…and I’m the type that can tolerate loads of pain. I mean, I was laughing through childbirth for goodness sakes! My sinus infection is still there, but I’m tempted to just give up on these certain antibiotics.

  8. Susan

    I took Augmentin in May 2014 for what I thought was a sinus infection. Three days into taking it I was extremely nauseous and couldn’t eat anything but bread. I felt so horrible that I stopped taking it (after 3 days) even knowing you are supposed to take all of a prescribed antibiotic.

    My urine turned a dark, dark orange color and smelled like smoke. (I don’t smoke.) I went to my doctor and she did a urine test and discovered blood in my urine, but no infection and no signs of cancer cells. I then had to go to a Urologist for a kidney ultrasound and a bladder scope to see if there was anything wrong that they could see. Fortunately everything checked out OK and I’ve gone to the urologist every 6 months since then and they still detect blood in my urine (the mircro kind —not like you can see blood).

    I am tired or worrying about this and tired of not knowing what happened. All I know is that I was fine before I took Augmentin and I haven’t been fine since.
    If anyone has any insight, I would be very grateful.

  9. Shawnda

    I am currently taking this medication for an ear and sinus infection. Day 1 and so far no problems and praying for nine more days problem free. Will keep you guys posted!

    • Holly

      Shawnda from GA, Your Microscopic Blood appearance is a different issue from your use of the drugs, I am not a doctor however. I have Micro-blood, and all the doctors can do without knowing a source is keep an eye on the amount. Keep up with CBP every year which will measure the amount of blood.

      Treat any and all UTI’s as directed. I went through all the tests to see where the blood was coming from including a MRI, and the same tests you got. Nothing was there thank goodness. The only other option is exploratory surgery which I was unwilling to do at this point. Final diagnosis was a Hematora of unknown origin. that was 3 years ago. Just get your blood panels check every year and keep an eye out with your urine content.

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