Amoxicillin is a penicillin antibiotic that is used in the treatment of different infections. In this article, we shall briefly review the common doses of amoxicillin used in treating these infections.
Infections that can be treated with amoxicillin
There are many infections that can be treated with amoxicillin. While discussing the dose for each and every one of them is out of the scope of this article, it may be worthwhile remembering the common infections that warrant treatment with amoxicillin. Below is a short list of these infections.
- Pneumonia caused due to Streptococcus pneumonia
- Subacute bacterial endocarditis - infection of the heart valves
- Urinary tract infections
- Helicobacter pylori infection - an organism that is responsible for the development of gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers
- Otitis media - infection of the middle ear
- Cellulitis - a form of skin infection
- Tonsillitis and pharyngitis
- Upper respiratory tract infection treatment
The above conditions are seen mostly in adults and some of them can also be seen in children. The dosage varies between adults and children.
Amoxicillin dosage forms
Amoxicillin is available in doses of 250 mg, 500 mg and 1 g. These are administered in different combinations depending upon the clinical condition. Oral tablets and suspensions along with intravenous medications are available.
Adult dose of amoxicillin
Commonly, amoxicillin is used as a 500 mg oral or intravenous drug. In treating simple pneumonias, amoxicillin is prescribed as a 500 mg oral medication given 2 to 3 times a day for a variable duration of time depending upon the severity of infection. This same dosage is used in the treatment of urinary tract infections along with other clinical conditions that have been described above.
In clinical conditions such as subacute bacterial endocarditis and cellulitis, patients require a lot more aggressive management. In this condition, amoxicillin is prescribed along with another antibiotic as an intravenous drug. It is given for a period of 4 to 6 weeks at high doses ranging from 500 mg three times a day to 1 g twice a day.
In the past, amoxicillin was used in preventing infections of the heart valves in patients who are undergoing dental procedures or any other intervention. However, the recent guidelines issued by the American Heart Association have now suggested that no preventative treatment be used. In other words, amoxicillin’s use in preventing infections of the heart valve has now been abandoned. However, its use in treating existing infections is still relevant.
Amoxicillin dosage for kids
Paediatric dose of amoxicillin: Amoxicillin use in paediatric age groups is prescribed according to body weight. The clinical conditions are treated as similar to what has been described above. For example, in the treatment of a middle ear infection in children, a dose of 20 to 30 mg/ kg/day is administered in divided doses 2 to 3 times per day in infants up to the age of three months. As the child gets older, a higher dose up to 50mg/kg/day may be prescribed. Similar doses are used in managing urinary tract infections and soft tissue infections.
It is uncommon for patients to overdose and amoxicillin but in the event that it does occur, it is important for patients to seek medical attention straightaway. There do not appear to be any particularly worrying effect that can occur with amoxicillin overdose but clinical reports have suggested damage to the kidneys in small number of patients. In the event of an overdose, the drug must be discontinued and supportive treatment options pursued.