Penicillin-versus-amoxicillin image

Infections triggered by a rapid progression of bacteria are treated through the intake of medications. Drugs that belong to a genre called antibiotics are widely administered as part of your treatment plan. In this light, the prescription of meds such as amoxicillin, penicillin, etc. is a common practice. The key chemicals present in these meds kill the microbes and stop further spread. But, do you know the differences and similarities between amoxicillin and penicillin? It is a key thing to have a basic understanding of these meds before you start treatment.

Antibiotics are meds used for stopping bacterial infections. These meds have limited / no therapeutic properties to treat viral infections. The use of antibacterial meds to treat fungal, viral or other microbial infections can develop resistance against antibiotics. Penicillin and amoxicillin belong to this genre of meds; these meds can be purchased either through online drugstores or pharmacies.

What is penicillin?

Dr Fleming discovered this drug in 1928, and this makes it the foremost form of antibiotic. Since its discovery, many upgraded versions have been introduced with better remedial outcomes. For instance, Penicillin-V is its fortified form; it can resist stomach acids / gastric juices of your digestive system.

This med can be consumed orally. As it is effective in stopping gram positive form of aerobic bacteria, it is labelled as an antibiotic of a narrow-spectrum. Penicillin is widely prescribed for the treatment of infections triggered by onset of bacteria of streptococcal genre. This med is not considered to be effective against the gram-negative genre. It is equally ineffective when used for treatment of anaerobic bacteria.

What is amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is a widely prescribed antibiotic. It is made available as pills, chewable tablets, capsules as well as syrup i.e., as a liquid suspension. The form prescribed to you is dependent on intensity of infections, your body weight, you age, and on the intake of other meds.

The good thing about this med is – it can resist the harshness of gastric juices. This property helps in enhancing its absorption into your blood. Amoxicillin has a fairly wide therapeutic spectrum. You may be advised to take it for the treatment of throat and ear-related infections.

What are the key differences between penicillin and amoxicillin?

One key difference in between these antibacterial drugs is – amoxicillin can treat a broad/wide range of infections caused by bacterial strands. Apart from general signs of infections, amoxicillin is prescribed for respiratory conditions like pneumonia, genitourinary problems, for the eradication of H. Pylori / related infections and for treatment of gonorrhea. With regard to penicillin, the range is quite narrow. Another difference is amoxicillin can trigger skin conditions like rashes. This however must not be mistaken as an outcome of being allergic to this drug.

What are the major similarities of penicillin and amoxicillin?

Foremost of all, these two drugs form part of the same genre of meds called antibiotics. Commonly experienced adverse effects both these meds cause are quite similar namely, pain in abdomen, diarrhea or watery stools, other discomforts like nausea coupled with vomiting. Both penicillin and amoxicillin are available in their generic forms. Hence, both present a high savings potential on cost of treatment.

Pointers to stay aware of while using either of these antibiotics

Your doctor may advise you to take either of these antibiotics twice within a 24-hour timeline. Those who are allergic to penicillin must stay away from taking amoxicillin. For people with allergies, your doctor may administer safer alternatives. It is a good practice to take an antibiotic at same timeslots each day; this had led to better outcomes. The liquid variant of this med must be shaken prior to use. Last but not the least, chewable pills must never be crushed or bitten. For more details about the how penicillin fares when compared to amoxicillin, consult with your caregiving team and/or pharmacist.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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