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Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices

Drug Information for Parents: Amoxicillin

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Amoxicillin and its cousin augmentin are probably the most commonly used antibiotics in children. When prescribing for an ear infection, strep throat or skin infection, physicians often start with a form of penicillin, which is what Amoxicillin and Augmentin® are. They are available as capsule/tablet, chewable or suspensions.  The suspension does not have to be refrigerated, but tastes better cold and can be given with or without food. Amoxicillin is good for 14 days once it is mixed.  IAmoxicillin is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, such as pneumonia; bronchitis, and infections of the ears, nose, throat, urinary tract, and skin. It is also used in combination with other medications to eliminate H. pylori (the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers)

How should this medicine be used?

Amoxicillin comes as a capsule, a tablet, a chewable tablet, a liquid, and pediatric drops to take by mouth. It is usually taken every 12 hours (twice a day) or every 8 hours (three times a day) with or without food.. Follow the directions on the prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take amoxicillin exactly as directed. Do not give your child more or less of it or give it to them more often than prescribed by their doctor.

Shake the liquid and pediatric drops well before each use to mix the medication evenly. Use the bottle dropper to measure the dose of pediatric drops. The pediatric drops and liquid may be placed on a child's tongue or added to formula, milk, fruit juice, water, ginger ale, or other cold liquid and taken immediately.

The chewable tablets should be crushed or chewed thoroughly before they are swallowed. The tablets and capsules should be swallowed whole and taken with a full glass of water.What special precautions should I follow?

Before giving your child amoxicillin, tell their doctor and pharmacist if they are allergic to amoxicillin, penicillin, cephalosporins, or any other medications.

What special dietary instructions should I follow for my child?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue their normal diet.

What should I do if I forget to give my child a dose?

Give your child the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue the regular dosing schedule. Do not give your child a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Amoxicillin may cause side effects. Tell your child's doctor's office if your child experiences any of these symptoms

  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if your child experience any of them, call their doctor immediately:

  • severe skin rash
  • hives
  • seizures
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • pale skin
  • excessive tiredness
  • lack of energ

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Keep amoxicillin in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children, especially younger siblings.. Store the capsules and tablets at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. The liquid medication preferably should be kept in the refrigerator, but it may be stored at room temperature. Throw away any unused medication after 14 days. Do not freeze. T


As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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