Antibiotics are one of the most widely prescribed medications in the US, with more than 270 million prescriptions being written in the US. One of the most popularly known class of medications are the penicillin class of antibiotics. Augmentin is one such medication that is used for treating infections. A combination of two different medications it is widely used for treating various types of infections. As a result of the combination of medications, the drug is known to be more effective in treatment outcomes. All medications have undesirable effects, and augmentin is no exception; here is a good look at the side effects of augmentin and all related information necessary to mitigate the effects.
Overview and side effects of augmentin
The best approach to learn about the side effects of augmentin is to fully understand all about the ingredients, the mechanism of action and its. Augmentin, as mentioned above is a prescription medication used for treating conditions that are attributed to bacterial infections. For instance, infections that affect the ears, the urinary tract, skin and the sinus are typically treated with antibiotics. Additionally, the medication is also used for treating pneumonia, which makes this a potent combination antibiotic. A combination of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid, augmentin is known to be effective against a wide range of bacteria types. It is typically available as tablets in immediate release formulation, and as extended-release tablets, apart from liquid suspension formulations.
In addition to above listed conditions, the medication is also used for treating cellulitis, that is effectively a type of skin infection, attributed to bacteria. The drug is also used for the treatment of respiratory infections, including bronchitis. Acne is sometimes treated with augmentin, though it is not the first line of medication or treatment regimen for managing acne outbreaks. The penicillin antibiotic is also used in patients with diverticulitis. However, it is important to note that the use of the medication for this condition is actually an off-label use, as it is approved by the FDA for treating diverticulitis.
Mechanism of action of augmentin
As mentioned above, a basic understanding of the mechanism of action of the drug will help in getting a clearer picture of possible side effects of augmentin. The broad-spectrum antibiotic is known to be effective against diverse bacteria types. The drug works by attaching itself to proteins that are present within the bacteria cell. By virtue of attaching themselves to the cell, the medication inhibits the building of cell wall of the bacteria. As a consequence of this action, the bacteria do not survive, resulting in managing of the infection. This bactericidal action makes it a proven treatment regimen in handling the above-mentioned infections. Typically, the mechanism of action of the medication starts in a few hours from the time of taking the medication. However, the results are experienced or visible only after a few days after coming the treatment.
Ideal dosage to prevent side effects of augmentin
A significant percentage of side effects of augmentin are attributed to incorrect dosage and use. This is common to all types of medications, as individuals sometimes end up consuming more than the prescribed dose, in an attempt for better outcomes. The doses mentioned herein are only for the purpose of reference. The actual dosage will depend on various factors, including the severity of the condition, the nature of the infection, the age of the patient, the formulation (extended release or immediate release), other pre-existing conditions, and the use of other medications.
Augmentin strengths are typically denoted as amoxicillin/clavulanic acid. In immediate release tablets, augmentin is typically available in combination strengths of 250 mg/125 mg, 500 mg/125 mg, and 875 mg/125 mg. In extended-release formulations, the drug comes in a single dosage of 1000 mg/62.5 mg. In liquid suspension formulations, the medication comes in a strength known as 125 mg/31.25 mg per 5 mL and 250 mg/62.5 mg per 5 mL.
With the available dosages explained, it is time to look at the recommended dosages for various conditions. For urinary tract infections, patients are typically recommended immediate release formulations with a minimum dose of 250 mg tablet to a maximum of 875 mg tablet. The medication is generally taken either once every eight hours or once every twelve hours. The duration of the treatment is generally between three to eight days. A similar dose is recommended for impetigo category of skin infections, with the duration of treatment extending to a maximum of one week. To avoid side effects of augmentin in the case of sinus infections, it is essential to stick to the recommended dose of 500 mg of immediate release tablets for every eight hours. The maximum dosage of immediate release tablets is 875 mg to be taken once in twelve hours. The duration of treatment is typically less than a week. A similar dose is prescribed for individuals with ear infections, and for pneumonia. However, the duration of the treatment for pneumonia extends to almost 10 days.
Differences in dosages
There are differences in dosages as per conditions. For instance, individuals who are unable to swallow pills, are administered liquid suspensions. This includes children who may not find swallowing a pill comfortable. The actual dosage to be administered to adults or young patients depends on various factors, including the condition, the age, and the weight of the patient. One of the possible reasons for side effects of augmentin could be the wrong practice of taking a double dose to make up for a skipped dose. This is incorrect and can cause adverse reactions. Individuals who have missed a dose are advised to carefully take a decision. For instance, if the dose has been skipped by less than two or three hours, the medication can be taken safely. However, if the skipped dose has been noticed after five or six hours, then it is best to wait and take the next dose.
Commonly reported side effects of augmentin
Side effects of augmentin are classified as common or serious effects. The commonly occurring side effects are known to be mild or moderate in nature and in most cases may resolve naturally, without the need for special treatment or medial intervention at a healthcare facility. The serious side effects may be stronger in intensity and may require medical intervention, depending on the actual effect. Commonly reported undesirable effects include bouts of diarrhea, vomiting and possible nausea. Patients are also known to experience the outbreak of skin rashes on the skin, while women report vaginitis. This condition is attributed to yeast infections.
Side effects of augmentin that are serious in nature include complication in the liver. There is the possibility of liver damage, especially among elderly patients who are on the drug for a longer duration. In most instances, the effects subside when the medication is stopped, however, in certain instances the effects may persist. Common symptoms that patients need to watch out for include stomach ache that is not attributed to any condition, or yellowing of the eyes and the skin. Similarly, there is also the possibility of individuals ending up with an intestinal infection. Indications of this infection include pain in the stomach, observance of blood in the stools and diarrhea.
Side effects of augmentin : possible allergies
Patients on the medication are exposed to the risk of possible allergies. For instance, certain symptoms indicative of allergic reactions or side effects of augmentin include outbreak of rashes on the skin. Patients may experience swelling of the lips, the throat or the tongue, while some may experience difficulty in breathing. It is important for patients who have experienced allergic reactions to the drug in the past to stay away from the medication. This is of paramount importance as repeat allergies could actually be fatal in nature. It is also necessary to bear in mind that the medication belongs to the penicillin class of antibiotics that are known to trigger allergic reactions in individuals.
Side effects of augmentin: drug and other possible interactions
In addition to side effects of augmentin that are typically attributed to the mechanism of action of the medication, there are other possible adverse reactions. This includes drug interactions and other interactions. The actual nature of drug interactions typically differs –some interactions amplify the adverse effects of the medication, while some interactions mainly affect the desired outcomes of drugs. The efficacy of certain medications may be either reduced or enhanced as a result of the interaction of two medications. To avoid all undesirable interactions, patients are advised to inform the treating specialist of other medications being used for treating or managing other conditions. This could include prescription medications, OTC formulations, or herbal supplements.
The effect of augmentin on blood thinners, commonly known as anticoagulants include a possible increase in the outcome of the blood thinners. In other words, the patient may be exposed to the risk of bleeding. Similarly, patients on allopurinol are known to experience side effects of augmentin or interactions when the two drugs are taken together. The outbreak of rashes is a possibility as a result of taking both medications.
The effectiveness of oral contraceptives may be impacted, exposing couples to the risk of unplanned pregnancy. Individuals who consume alcohol, when on the mediation are likely to experience adverse reactions. This could also include aggravating the possible ill effects that are typically linked to alcohol consumption. For instance, individuals who consume excessive amounts of alcohol are known to be at risk of developing liver complications. Patients on augmentin who consume alcohol alongside, are exposed to possible elevated risk levels of liver complications. Interaction of the medication with alcohol generally manifests through common symptoms that include vomiting, increased dizzy feelings and a frequently upset stomach.