Can you drink alcohol while taking Augmentin blog image

Treatment of bacterial infections includes use of combination antibiotics to increase efficacy. One such combination medication is Augmentin containing amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium, and is used for treating various bacterial infections. For instance, it is used for treating respiratory infections, ear infections, skin and soft tissue infections, urinary tract infections and dental infections. As bacterial infections are common in occurrence, the likelihood of use of antibiotics may be frequent and this could also have an impact on social drinking. A frequent question in the minds of patients is – can you drink alcohol while taking Augmentin? Following subsections offer detailed information about the combination antibiotic and also answers the question about alcohol.

Different forms of Augmentin

Augmentin is available in various formulations, including the following:

Ideal dosage of Augmentin

The ideal dosage of Augmentin depends on various factors, including the type and severity of the infection, age of the patient, weight, and other medications in use for existing conditions.  The following information is intended only as a broad reference and will not substitute medical advice or recommendations. The typical dose for various conditions as per different formulations is outlined below.

The usual adult dose when tablets are recommended is one 500 mg/125 mg tablet or one 875 mg/125 mg tablet every 12 hours. When infections are severe, the dose may increase to two 500 mg/125 mg tablets or two 875 mg/125 mg tablets every 12 hours. The typical adult dose when extended release tablets are recommend is one 1000 mg/62.5 mg tablet every 12 hours. The recommended dose of chewable tablets for pediatric patients is dependent on age and weight of patient, and may range from one 125 mg/31.25 mg tablet every 12 hours to two 400 mg/57 mg tablets every 12 hours.

When oral suspensions are administered, the recommended dose may range from 45 mg/kg/day to 90 mg/kg/day, divided into two or three doses. Injections are usually administered in dosages of one 1000 mg/200 mg vial every 8 hours, administered intravenously over 30 minutes.

Mechanism of action of Augmentin

The mechanism of action of the combination antibiotic is driven by the manner in which each ingredient works. Amoxicillin as a penicillin antibiotic works by preventing bacterial cell walls from forming, resulting in bacterial cell death. Clavulanic acid as a beta-lactamase inhibitor works by preventing the destruction of amoxicillin by the enzymes produced by certain bacteria. This ensures that amoxicillin is more effective against a wider range of bacteria. The combination of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid makes the drug a broad-spectrum antibiotic to treat a wide range of bacterial infections, in addition to considerably reducing the risk of developing antibiotic resistance.

Side effects of Augmentin

All drugs come with the possibility of undesirable effects and Augmentin is no exception. Here is a compilation of some of the commonly reported side effects.

The above effects are typically mild in nature and resolve naturally. Certain effects are known to be stronger or serious in nature and require medical intervention at the earliest. For instance, the following effects are considered as serious in nature:

It is important to note that this list of undesirable outcomes is not exhaustive in nature. Additionally, all patients are unlikely to experience side effects, with only a percentage of users experiencing effects.

Drug interactions of Augmentin

The drug may also interact with other medications, supplements, and herbs, and this could impact the efficacy of the drug or increase the risk of side effects. Commonly reported drug interactions include the following:

Can you drink alcohol while taking Augmentin?

Individuals on Augmentin are advised not to consume alcohol, as it can increase the risk of certain side effects and also impact the efficacy of the drug.

Alcohol causes dehydration and this increases the workload on the liver, affecting the body’s ability to metabolize the antibiotic effectively. This may result in increased levels of the medication in the bloodstream, triggering effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Augmentin is known to cause drowsiness and dizziness, and this could be aggravated by alcohol consumption. This combination may impair the abilities of the individual, increasing the risk of accidents or injuries. Patients who insist on drinking alcohol, are to do so in moderation and are advised to wait for at least 24 hours after intake of Augmentin before indulging.

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