Amoxicillin is a common generic penicillin-class antibiotic used to treat various conditions. All antibiotics have their specific uses and treatment abilities. Not all medications are created equal. While amoxicillin can treat various bacterial infections, there are certain conditions that amoxicillin has proven to be most beneficial with.
What is Amoxicillin Used For?
It’s important to note that amoxicillin and other penicillin antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, not viral infections such as the common cold or flu. The most common uses for amoxicillin (Amoxil) include treatment of infections by the following strains:
- E. coli
- Streptococci (especially pneumoniae)
- Proteus mirabilis
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Helicobacter pylori
- Neisseria gonorrhoeae
These strains of bacteria generally cause the following conditions:
- Ear, nose, and throat infections, especially infections in the middle ear, which is common in children
- Respiratory infections like pneumonia and bronchitis
- UTI (urinary tract infections)
- Skin infections
- Infections involving the throat, tonsils, and larynx. This is commonly called laryngitis.
In combination with other drugs, such as clarithromycin, amoxicillin is also used to help treat duodenal (stomach) ulcers. It’s also used as a prophylactic measure to prevent infection following surgery.
Dosing for Various Conditions
ENT conditions can range anywhere from a sinus infection to a middle ear infection caused by one of the above strains. Bacteria can also invade the skin, genitals, and urinary systems and be treated with amoxicillin successfully. For more mild or moderate conditions, the usual dose in adults is 500 mg every 12 hours, or 250 mg every 8 hours. Severe infections in adults require a larger dose of 875 mg every 12 hours, or 500 mg every 8 hours.
For respiratory tract infections, usually in the lower part of the lungs including pneumonia and bronchitis, amoxicillin is prescribed at the higher dose of 875 mg every 12 hours or 500 mg every 8 hours.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that can affect both men and women in the genital regions and even in the throat. This STD can cause serious complications if left untreated like pelvic inflammatory disease in women, sterilization in men, as well as long term pelvic and abdominal pain. Fortunately, amoxicillin is a very successful treatment in curing gonorrhea. The dosing is very different for this condition at 3 grams in a single dose.
For treatment of serious ulcers that are uncontrolled with traditional medications, amoxicillin is combined with other drugs to help keep the ulcer from developing more serious problems as a result of bacterial growth. There is no one way to dose for this condition, as it depends on the severity of the ulcer and what amoxicillin will be used with.
Dosing in Children
Pediatric dosing sometimes depends on height, age, and weight of the child. However, children over 88 pounds are prescribed the adult dosage for their infections. Children under 3 months of age should have a dose no more than 30 mg/kg/day.