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What is amoxicillin?
Amoxicillin is a type of antibiotic used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. It is a penicillin-type antibiotic, which means it is derived from a mold called Penicillium. Amoxicillin is effective against many different types of bacteria, including those that cause infections in the respiratory tract, urinary tract, skin, and other parts of the body. It is often used to treat infections caused by streptococcal bacteria, such as strep throat and pneumonia, as well as infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae, Escherichia coli, and other types of bacteria. Amoxicillin is available in various forms, including tablets, capsules, and oral suspensions, and is usually taken by mouth. It is generally well-tolerated, but like all medications, it can cause side effects in some people. If you have been prescribed amoxicillin, it is important to take it exactly as directed by your healthcare provider and to finish the entire course of treatment, even if you feel better. This will help ensure that the infection is completely cleared and prevent the bacteria from becoming resistant to the antibiotic.
Amoxicillin belongs to the penicillin group of drugs and is often used to treat infections of the respiratory tract, urinary tract, skin, and soft tissue. Amoxicillin can be taken orally in the form of tablets or capsules, or it can be given intravenously (through a vein) in the form of a liquid.
Amoxicillin is effective against a wide range of bacteria, including many strains of streptococci, staphylococci, and Haemophilus influenzae. It is often used to treat infections caused by these types of bacteria, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, and skin infections. It is also often used to treat infections in the ears, nose, and throat, as well as infections of the genital tract.
How does Amoxicillin work?
Amoxicillin works by inhibiting the synthesis of the bacterial cell wall. The cell wall is a protective layer that surrounds the bacterial cell and helps to maintain its shape. It is composed of a complex network of polysaccharides and proteins that is essential for the survival of the bacteria.
Without the ability to synthesize the cell wall, the bacteria are unable to divide and replicate. As a result, they die off, which helps to clear the infection.
It is important to note that amoxicillin only works against bacteria that are susceptible to the drug. It is not effective against viruses or fungi, and it should only be used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Your doctor will determine whether amoxicillin is the appropriate treatment for your infection based on the type of bacteria causing the infection and the severity of the infection.
Side effects of Amoxicillin
Amoxicillin is a type of antibiotic that is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. The most common side effects of amoxicillin are:
- Less common side effects include:
- Stomach pain
- Swollen, red, or painful tongue
- White patches in the mouth or throat
- Vaginal itching or discharge
In rare cases, amoxicillin can cause more serious side effects, such as:
- Severe allergic reactions, which may cause difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Severe diarrhea, which may be caused by a bacterial infection (clostridium difficile)
- Liver problems, which may cause yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, or abdominal pain
If you experience any of these side effects while taking amoxicillin, you should contact your doctor immediately. It is important to tell your doctor about all medications you are taking, as well as any allergies you have, to help reduce the risk of side effects.
The dosage of amoxicillin depends on the type and severity of the infection being treated, as well as the age, weight, and kidney function of the person taking the medication.
It is important to take amoxicillin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of the medication than directed, and do not take it for a longer or shorter period of time than prescribed. It is also important to take amoxicillin with plenty of fluids, and to complete the entire course of treatment, even if you start to feel better after a few days. If you have any questions about the dosage of amoxicillin, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Amoxicillin is an antibiotic that is used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections. It is generally safe and well-tolerated, but like all medications, it can have side effects. Some common side effects of amoxicillin include nausea, diarrhea, and allergic reactions.
To minimize the risk of side effects, it is important to take amoxicillin as directed by your healthcare provider. Be sure to follow the dosing instructions carefully and do not stop taking the medication early, even if you feel better unless your healthcare provider advises you to do so. This is because stopping treatment early can allow bacteria to continue to grow, which can lead to the development of antibiotic resistance.
If you are allergic to penicillin or have a history of allergic reactions to medications, it is important to tell your healthcare provider before starting treatment with amoxicillin. You may need to avoid amoxicillin or take it with caution.
If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking amoxicillin, such as severe allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, or skin rash, contact your healthcare provider immediately. These could be signs of a serious reaction to the medication.
It is also important to remember to always follow good hygiene practices, such as washing your hands frequently and covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, to help prevent the spread of infections.