Unlocking the Potential of Augmentin: Uses, Dosages, and Precautions 

Dinesh Patel
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

Last Updated:

Combat bacterial infections with augmentin

Augmentin, a widely prescribed antibiotic medication, is crucial in combating bacterial infections. It comes under the Penicillin group of antibiotics and contains–Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid. 

This combination enhances its effectiveness against a wide range of bacteria. This makes it useful for treating infections like Pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, skin infections, and UTIs. It offers a broader spectrum of action compared to antibiotics containing Amoxicillin alone.

This article will give a comprehensive guide to Augmentin, including its uses, dosages, potential, and side effects.

Augmentin generic name

The generic name of Augmentin is Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Potassium. This means that Augmentin is available in a generic form and is often less expensive than the brand-name version. 

The generic version comes in different forms and strengths but contains the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug. 

What are Augmentin uses

Augmentin, a combination medication containing Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid, is used to combat various bacterial infections affecting different body parts. It is commonly prescribed for conditions such as:

Urinary Tract Infection

Augmentin is a promising solution for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) caused by resistant bacteria. Augmentin effectively targets Gram-negative pathogens, which can cause UTIs. Augmentin is 70% effective against amoxicillin-resistant organisms.  

The recommended dosage of Augmentin for UTIs is 375 mg three times daily, which is well tolerated with minimal gastrointestinal side effects.

Bronchitis

Augmentin has demonstrated remarkable efficacy in treating acute, chronic Bronchitis, a common respiratory infection characterized by inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Clinical trials have shown a cure rate of 93%, indicating its effectiveness in resolving bronchial infections.

Middle ear infections (Otitis Media)

Augmentin is particularly effective against pathogens responsible for Acute Otitis Media (ear infections). This offers relief from the pain and discomfort associated with this condition. Targeting bacteria helps clear up infections of the middle ear, restoring normal auditory function.

Laryngitis

Bacterial Laryngitis, which manifests as inflammation of the voice box, causing hoarseness or difficulty swallowing, can be effectively treated with Augmentin. Amoxicillin, one of the components of Augmentin, is a potent Penicillin antibiotic against the bacteria responsible for Acute Laryngitis. 

Pneumonia

Augmentin manages community-acquired Pneumonia, a serious respiratory infection affecting the lungs. Through twice-daily administration, it effectively targets bacterial pathogens implicated in Pneumonia without exacerbating adverse effects, facilitating a speedy recovery for affected individuals.

Fact
According to a 2016 study, Augmentin has a survival rate of 85.75 % among those with severe Pneumonia. 

Sinusitis

Augmentin is a safe and reliable oral treatment option for acute  Sinusitis, a common type of sinus infection characterized by inflammation of the maxillary sinuses. When administered at appropriate intervals, it helps alleviate sinus congestion and discomfort, promoting the resolution of sinus infections.

Skin infections

Augmentin exhibits great efficacy in managing skin and soft tissue infections, including cellulitis, abscesses, and wound infections, particularly in children. With an efficacy rate of 84%, it outperforms other antibiotics commonly used for skin infections, underscoring its importance in clinical practice.

Throat infections (Pharyngitis)

Augmentin is frequently prescribed for treating bacterial Pharyngitis, a common cause of sore throat. By targeting bacterial pathogens, Augmentin helps alleviate symptoms and prevents complications associated with untreated throat infections. This ensures prompt recovery for affected individuals.

To know more about Augmentin’s effect on strep throat, Augmentin for Strep Throat: Treatment Made Easy with Augmentin.

Tonsillitis

Augmentin shows promise in managing acute recurrent Tonsillitis, a condition of recurrent inflammation of the tonsils. Through its antibacterial action, Augmentin aids in resolving tonsillar infections, thereby reducing the frequency and severity of episodes.

How Augmentin works

Augmentin has two main components—Amoxicillin and Clavulanate potassium. Amoxicillin targets bacteria by stopping the synthesis of cell walls (mucopeptides). This breaking down of the bacterial cell wall weakens it, causing the bacteria to die. 

However, sometimes bacteria have defenses, including the production of beta-lactamases, enzymes that make antibiotics like Amoxicillin ineffective. This is where Clavulanate potassium comes into play. It binds strongly to these beta-lactamases near their active sites, stopping them from making amoxicillin ineffective.

Clavulanate potassium and Amoxicillin together significantly broaden the spectrum of bacteria it can combat. Thus, Augmentin effectively treats infections caused by a range of bacteria, making it a valuable tool in the fight against bacterial infections.

Augmentin vs Amoxicillin

Amoxicillin and Augmentin are antibiotics within the penicillin drug class, commonly prescribed to treat bacterial infections. 

While they share similarities, they also have distinct differences in composition, activity spectrum, and potential applications.

AspectsAmoxicillinAugmentin
CompositionPrimary ingredient is AmoxicillinAmoxicillin + Clavulanic acid
Spectrum of activityAmoxicillin is effective against a broad range of bacteria, like ear infections, strep throat, respiratory infections, UTIs, skin infections, and STIsOn the other hand, Augmentin is effective against certain strains of bacteria that may exhibit resistance to traditional antibiotics, like sinus infections, chronic ear infections, severe skin infections, and bacterial infections 
Side effectsAbdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, disruption of intestinal floraAbdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, disruption of intestinal flora, bloating, gas, headaches, increased risk of Clostridium difficile overgrowth

Augmentin dosage

Augmentin pills spilled from a bottle
Augmentin pills spilled from a bottle

The dosage of Augmentin depends on the severity of the bacterial infection, the patient’s age, weight, and the formulation of the medication. 

Here’s a summary of the dosage guidelines:

Less serious bacterial infections

Augmentin dosage for bacterial infections that are not severe is particularly low and depends on the formulations.   

Patient GroupOral Dosage Form (Chewable Tablets or Suspension)Oral Dosage Form (Tablets)
Patient GroupOral Dosage Form (Chewable Tablets or Suspension)Oral Dosage Form (Tablets)
Adults and Children ≥ 40 kg125-250 mg Amoxicillin and 31.25-62.5 mg Clavulanate per 5 mL every 8 hours250 mg Amoxicillin and 125 mg Clavulanate every 8 hours or 500 mg Amoxicillin and 125 mg Clavulanate every 12 hours
Children 3 months and older, weighing < 40 kgDosage based on body weight, typically 20 mg/kg/day every 8 hours or 25 mg/kg/day every 12 hoursThe doctor must determine dosage
Children < 3 monthsDosage based on body weight, typically 30 mg/kg/day every 12 hours

You can buy Augmentin 375 AUgmentin at an affordable price from WowRxPharmacy. 

Serious bacterial infections

Recommended dosages for treating serious bacterial infections with Amoxicillin/Clavulanate are based on particular demographics and formulations. 

Patient GroupChewable Tablet/SuspensionExtended-Release TabletTablet
Adults and Children ≥ 40 kg125-250 mg Amoxicillin / 31.25-62.5 mg Clavulanate per 5 mL (every 8 hours) or 200-400 mg Amoxicillin / 28.5-57 mg Clavulanate per 5 mL (every 12 hours)200 mg Amoxicillin (every 12 hours)500 mg Amoxicillin / 125 mg Clavulanate (every 8 hours) or 875 mg Amoxicillin / 125 mg Clavulanate (every 12 hours)
Children ≥ 3 months and < 40 kg40 mg/kg/day Amoxicillin (every 8 hours) or 45 mg/kg/day Amoxicillin (every 12 hours)Dosage must be determined by the doctorDosage must be determined by the doctor
Children < 3 months30 mg/kg/day Amoxicillin (every 12 hours)

Missed dose

If a dose of Augmentin is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible. However, if it’s time for your next dose, you can skip the missed dose. Doubling up on doses should be avoided.

Overdose

It’s important to follow the prescribed dosage and not exceed it strictly. Overdosing can lead to potentially harmful consequences. These can include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, skin rash, drowsiness, hyperactivity, and decreased urination.

Warning
It is not advisable to switch to different formulations and strengths of Augmentin without consulting your doctor. It can cause potential complications and may not effectively treat your infection. 

How to take Augmentin

To ensure the effectiveness of Augmentin in treating bacterial infections, it’s crucial to adhere to your doctor’s prescribed dosage and regimen. 

Here’s a guide on the Augmentin administration:

Follow the doctor’s instructions

Take Augmentin exactly as your doctor instructed. Even if you start feeling better before the completion of treatment, continue taking the medication until the entire prescribed course is finished. This can prevent the recurrence of the infection.

Take with food

It’s recommended to take Augmentin at the start of a light meal. Doing so can help reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal issues and enhance the body’s absorption of the medication. Moreover, you should complete the full course of antibiotics to reduce the risk of bacterial resistance. 

Crushing tablets

Augmentin oral tablets can be crushed if necessary. If the tablet has a score line indicating it can be divided, it can be split in half. 

However, consult your doctor before altering the form of the medication.

Liquid suspension option

If you have difficulty swallowing pills, inquire about the availability of Augmentin in liquid suspension form. Your doctor or pharmacist can guide the dosage and administration of the liquid suspension.

Augmentin side effects

While Augmentin is generally well-tolerated, there are potential side effects that people should be aware of. People experiencing any of the serious side effects should seek immediate medical attention. 

Less serious side effects

A woman suffering from rashes
A woman suffering from rashes

There are less serious side effects that people should be aware of. Understanding these potential effects can help patients recognize and manage them appropriately during treatment.

Dermatologic reactions

People may experience rash, fixed drug eruption, Bullous Pemphigoid, and Erythema Multiforme. Notably, Augmentin rashes may occur more commonly in patients with infectious Mononucleosis (mono) but do not necessarily indicate a lifelong allergy.

Neurological effects

These can include agitation, anxiety, confusion, convulsions (seizures), dizziness, headache, insomnia, and reversible hyperactivity. Psychosis has been reported rarely.

Respiratory symptoms

Cough and Rhinorrhea (runny nose) have been reported.

Other effects

Augmentin can cause false-positive urine glucose tests, which should be noted, especially in diabetic patients. Tooth discoloration may occur primarily in pediatric patients, but brushing or dental cleaning can often resolve this. Some patients may develop a yeast infection.

Serious side effects

When taking Augmentin, it’s crucial to be aware of potential serious side effects that can arise, ranging from hypersensitivity reactions to gastrointestinal, hepatic, renal, and hematologic complications. 

Hypersensitivity reactions

These can manifest as skin rash, Urticaria (hives), Pruritus (itching), Angioedema (swelling), skin rash accompanied by arthritis, and fever. Additionally, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, acute generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis, Hypersensitivity Vasculitis, Exfoliative Dermatitis, and even potentially life-threatening reactions like Anaphylaxis can develop. 

People with a history of allergy, asthma, or urticaria are at higher risk.

Gastrointestinal issues

These may include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, gastritis, abdominal cramps, and oral or vaginal yeast infection. The potentially severe conditions, like colitis and Clostridium Difficile, can lead to severe diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Hepatic (Liver) effects

Amoxicillin-Clavulanate can rarely cause liver toxicity. It can present as elevated liver enzymes, Cholestatic Jaundice, Hepatitis, and, in severe cases, liver failure. This risk may increase with prolonged treatment or in patients with pre-existing liver conditions.

Renal effects

Rarely, there may be kidney-related complications such as Crystalluria (formation of crystals in urine), Hematuria (blood in urine), acute renal failure, and acute Interstitial Nephritis.

Augmentin interactions

Augmentin can interact with various medications and substances, potentially leading to unwanted effects or reducing the efficacy of either drug. 

Coumadin (Warfarin)

Augmentin can interact with oral blood thinners like Coumadin, increasing the risk of bleeding. This occurs due to Augmentin affecting gut bacteria involved in clotting factor production, leading to reduced clotting ability. 

Probenecid interaction

When taken with Augmentin, Probenecid can prolong the presence of Amoxicillin in the blood by slowing its removal from the body. This can intensify the effects of Amoxicillin, potentially leading to side effects like nausea, diarrhea, headache, or even toxicity.

Allopurinol interaction

Augmentin and Allopurinol, when used together, can increase the risk of developing skin rashes as side effects. This heightened risk requires close monitoring for severe conditions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome or DRESS syndrome. 

Alcohol interaction

While Augmentin itself does not directly interact with alcohol, consuming alcohol while on any antibiotic treatment can exacerbate certain side effects like nausea, vomiting, or liver problems. Consult with a healthcare provider before alcohol consumption. 

Birth control interaction

Augmentin can affect the effectiveness of oral contraceptives by potentially reducing their absorption. While this might not render hormonal birth control entirely ineffective, it can decrease its efficacy. Using a backup method of contraception, such as condoms or a diaphragm, is often advised.

Warning about Augmentin

The warnings associated with Augmentin are crucial considerations for individuals before taking or if they are currently using the medication. 

  • Severe kidney disease: Augmentin should not be used by individuals with severe kidney disease as it can affect the body’s ability to process and eliminate the medication properly. It can potentially lead to adverse effects or toxicity
  • Liver problems or jaundice: If a person has experienced liver problems or jaundice while taking Augmentin, they should avoid using it. Liver issues can pose risks of further liver damage or complications
  • Allergy to Penicillin or Cephalosporin: Individuals who are allergic to any Penicillin or Cephalosporin antibiotic should not use Augmentin. Allergic reactions to these antibiotics can range from mild skin rashes to severe anaphylaxis
  • Breastfeeding: Augmentin can pass into breast milk and potentially harm a nursing baby. Therefore, individuals should inform their doctor if they are breastfeeding before using Augmentin

Conclusion

Augmentin is a potent combination of Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid to fight against a broad spectrum of bacterial infections. Its efficacy spans various infections, from Urinary Tract Infections to respiratory and skin infections, making it a versatile and invaluable treatment option.

The dosage guidelines provided ensure tailored treatment based on the severity of the infection and individual factors. Adherence to the prescribed regimen and proper administration techniques are important for maximizing the medication’s effectiveness. 

Despite its effectiveness, people should look for potential side effects, ranging from gastrointestinal discomfort to rare but serious hypersensitivity reactions. Prompt management of these side effects is essential for ensuring patient safety throughout treatment.

While Augmentin shares similarities with its constituent antibiotic, Amoxicillin, its addition of Clavulanic acid extends its efficacy against resistant bacteria.

Augmentin offers a reliable and effective solution for bacterial infections. However, its use should always be guided by a healthcare professional’s expertise to optimize the best outcomes and minimize risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does Augmentin stay in your system?

The half-life of Augmentin, the time it takes for half of the medication to be eliminated from the body, is around 1 to 1.3 hours for Amoxicillin and about 1 hour for Clavulanic acid. Therefore, Augmentin is typically cleared from the body within 5 to 7 hours. 

How long does Augmentin take to work?

The onset of action for Augmentin depends on the type and severity of the treated infection. However, many people begin to experience symptom relief within the first few days of starting the medication. In acute infections, noticeable improvement may occur within 48 to 72 hours of initiating treatment. 

Can Augmentin cause yeast infection?

Yes, Augmentin can cause yeast infections, particularly in the mouth or vagina. Augmentin’s broad-spectrum antibiotic activity can disrupt the body’s balance of microorganisms, including the normal flora that keeps yeast growth in check. As a result, yeast overgrowth caused by Candida species may occur. 

What are the most common side effects of Augmentin?

The common side effects of Augmentin include gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Additionally, patients may experience skin reactions like rash and itching. These side effects are mild to moderate and often resolve on their own without intervention. 

Citations:
WowRxPharmacy uses only high-quality sources while writing our articles. Please read our content information policy to know more about how we keep our content reliable and trustworthy.

More Articles Like This

Leave a Comment

Receive the latest articles in your inbox!