Amoxicillin | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

amoxicillin, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Amoxil (Discontinued)
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for amoxicillin

Oral tablet
1

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic. It’s used to treat infections caused by certain types of bacteria.  

2

This drug comes in the form of tablets, capsules, chewable tablets, extended-release tablets, and a suspension. All forms are taken by mouth. 

3

The extended-release tablets are available as the brand-name drug Moxatag. The capsules, tablets, and suspension are available as the brand-name drug Amoxil. All forms of amoxicillin except for the extended-release tablets are available as generic drugs.

4

The more common side effects of this drug include nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

5

Amoxicillin should only be taken to treat a bacterial infection. It does not treat infections caused by viruses (such as the common cold).  

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Finishing therapy

It’s important to finish the entire course of treatment as prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking this drug or skip doses if you start to feel better. This could cause your infection to last longer. You could also develop a resistance to the medication. This means that if you get a bacterial infection in the future, you may not be able to treat it with amoxicillin.

Diarrhea

Amoxicillin may cause diarrhea. Call your doctor if you have bloody or watery diarrhea, with or without stomach cramps and fever.

Serious allergic reaction

This drug can cause a serious allergic reaction. This reaction can be fatal (cause death). If you’re allergic to other antibiotics, such as penicillins or cephalosporins, you’re risk for an allergic reaction may be higher. Call your doctor right away if you have trouble breathing or swelling of your throat or tongue while you’re taking this drug.

What is amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is a prescription drug. It comes in the form of a tablet, extended-release tablet, chewable tablet, capsule, and a suspension. All forms are taken by mouth.

The extended-release tablets are available as the brand-name drug Moxatag. The capsules, tablets, and suspension are available as the brand-name drug Amoxil. The tablet, chewable tablet, capsule, and suspension of amoxicillin are available as generic drugs. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version.

Amoxicillin may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic. It’s used to treat infections caused by a certain type of bacteria.

How it works

Amoxicillin belongs to a class of drugs called penicillins. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way.

More Details

How it works

Amoxicillin belongs to a class of drugs called penicillins. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Amoxicillin works by killing bacteria and stopping its growth in your body.

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SECTION 2 of 5

amoxicillin Side Effects

Oral tablet

More Common Side Effects

The more common side effects of amoxicillin can include:

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • diarrhea

  • feeling tired or weak

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following: 

  • Hypersensitivity reactions. Symptoms can include:

    • flu-like symptoms, such as fever, body aches, or sore throat
    • a painful red or purple rash that spreads
    • blisters that could cause the skin to break down and cause open sores
  • Liver damage (rare). Symptoms can include:

    • increased liver enzymes shown on a blood test
    • pain in the abdomen (stomach area)
    • yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
    • tiredness
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Amoxicillin doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

amoxicillin May Interact with Other Medications

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Amoxicillin can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Drugs that increase the risk of side effects from amoxicillin

Taking amoxicillin with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from amoxicillin. This is because the amount of amoxicillin in your body may be increased. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Probenacid.
    • If you use these drugs together, your doctor will likely keep your dosage of amoxicillin the same. 

Interactions that can make your drugs less effective

When amoxicillin is less effective: When amoxicillin is used with certain drugs, it may not work as well. This is because the amount of amoxicillin in your body may be decreased. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Chloramphenicol.
    • If you use these drugs together, your doctor will likely keep your dosage of amoxicillin the same.
  • Macrolides, such as erithromycin, clarithromycin, or azithromycin.
    • If you use these drugs together, your doctor will likely keep your dosage of amoxicillin the same.
  • Sulfonamides, such as sulfamethoxazole.
    • If you use these drugs together, your doctor will likely keep your dosage of amoxicillin the same.
  • Tetracyclines, such as tetracycline or doxycycline.
    • If you use these drugs together, your doctor will likely keep your dosage of amoxicillin the same. 

When other drugs are less effective: When certain drugs are used with amoxicillin, they may not work as well. This is because the amount of these drugs in your body may be decreased. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Oral contraceptives (birth control).
    • If you need to take amoxicillin, your doctor may prescribe a different form of birth control for you.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Amoxicillin warnings
mononucleosis
People with mononucleosis (mono or kissing disease)

Amoxicillin raises your risk of developing a bad rash.

diabetes
People with diabetes

Amoxicillin may cause you to have a false positive reaction when testing for glucose (sugar) in the urine. Talk with your doctor about how to manage your blood sugar while taking amoxicillin.

kidney disease
People with kidney disease

If you have severe kidney disease, your kidneys may not clear this drug from your body quickly. As a result, levels of amoxicillin may build up in your body. To help prevent this, your doctor may give you a lower dose of this drug.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

Amoxicillin is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has not shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Animal studies do not always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed. 

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

Amoxicillin may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

seniors
For seniors

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

allergies
Allergies

Amoxicillin can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include: 

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue 

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room. 

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take amoxicillin (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Infections of the ears, nose, and throat

Generic: amoxicillin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg, 875 mg
Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral chewable tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg
Form: Powder for oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg

Brand: Moxatag

Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 775 mg

Brand: Amoxil

Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg, 875 mg
Form: Powder for oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg

Tablet, chewable tablet, capsule, and suspension

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

Typical dosage: 500 mg every 12 hours, or 250 mg every 8 hours.

Child dosage (ages 3 months–17 years)

Typical dosage: 25 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours, or 20 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 hours.

Child dosage (ages 0–2 months)

Maximum dosage: 30 mg/kg/day. Your child’s doctor can tell you more about dosage.

Extended-release tablet

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • Typical dosage: 775 mg once per day for 10 days.
  • Take within 1 hour of finishing a meal.
Child dosage (ages 12–17 years)
  • Typical dosage: 775 mg once per day for 10 days.
  • Take within 1 hour of finishing a meal.
Child dosage (ages 0–11 years)

It has not been confirmed that amoxicillin extended-release tablets are safe and effective for use in people younger than 12 years of age.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Children’s dosage: The children’s dosage listed here is meant for children who weigh less than 88 pounds (40 kg). Children who weigh more than 88 pounds should be dosed according to the adult recommendations.

Urinary tract infections

Generic: amoxicillin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg, 875 mg
Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral chewable tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg
Form: Powder for oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg

Brand: Moxatag

Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 775 mg

Brand: Amoxil

Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg, 875 mg
Form: Powder for oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

Typical dosage: 500 mg every 12 hours, or 250 mg every 8 hours.

Child dosage (ages 3 months–17 years)

Typical dosage: 25 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours, or 20 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 hours.

Child dosage (ages 0–2 months)

Maximum dosage: 30 mg/kg/day. Your child’s doctor can tell you more about dosage.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Children’s dosage: The children’s dosage listed here is meant for children who weigh less than 88 pounds (40 kg). Children who weigh more than 88 pounds should be dosed according to the adult recommendations.

Skin infections

Generic: amoxicillin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg, 875 mg
Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral chewable tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg
Form: Powder for oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg

Brand: Moxatag

Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 775 mg

Brand: Amoxil

Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg, 875 mg
Form: Powder for oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

Typical dosage: 500 mg every 12 hours, or 250 mg every 8 hours.

Child dosage (ages 3 months–17 years)

Typical dosage: 25 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours, or 20 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 hours.

Child dosage (ages 0–2 months)

Maximum dosage: 30 mg/kg/day. Your child’s doctor can tell you more about dosage.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Children’s dosage: The children’s dosage listed here is meant for children who weigh less than 88 pounds (40 kg). Children who weigh more than 88 pounds should be dosed according to the adult recommendations.

Lower respiratory tract infections

Generic: amoxicillin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg, 875 mg
Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral chewable tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg
Form: Powder for oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg

Brand: Moxatag

Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 775 mg

Brand: Amoxil

Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg, 875 mg
Form: Powder for oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

Typical dosage: 875 mg every 12 hours, or 500 mg every 8 hours.

Child dosage (ages 3 months–17 years)

Typical dosage: 45 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours, or 40 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 8 hours.

Child dosage (ages 0–2 months)

Maximum dosage: 30 mg/kg/day. Your child’s doctor can tell you more about dosage.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Children’s dosage: The children’s dosage listed here is meant for children who weigh less than 88 pounds (40 kg). Children who weigh more than 88 pounds should be dosed according to the adult recommendations.

Gonorrhea

Generic: amoxicillin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg, 875 mg
Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral chewable tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg
Form: Powder for oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg

Brand: Moxatag

Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 775 mg

Brand: Amoxil

Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg, 875 mg
Form: Powder for oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

Typical dosage: 3 g as a single dose.

Child dosage (ages 3 months–17 years)

Typical dosage: 50 mg/kg amoxicillin combined with 25 mg/kg probenecid as a single dose.

Child dosage (ages 0–2 months)

This medication should not be used children younger than 2 years for treatment of gonorrhea.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Children’s dosage: The children’s dosage listed here is meant for children who weigh less than 88 pounds (40 kg). Children who weigh more than 88 pounds should be dosed according to the adult recommendations.

Stomach and intestinal ulcers

Generic: amoxicillin

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg, 875 mg
Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral chewable tablet
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg
Form: Powder for oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg

Brand: Moxatag

Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 775 mg

Brand: Amoxil

Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 250 mg, 500 mg
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 500 mg, 875 mg
Form: Powder for oral suspension
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • Typical dosage for triple therapy: 1 g amoxicillin with 500 mg clarithromycin and 30 mg of lansoprazole, all given twice per day for 14 days.
  • Typical dosage for dual therapy: 1 g amoxicillin and 30 mg of lansoprazole, given three times per day for 14 days.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This drug has not been studied in children to treat stomach and intestinal ulcers.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

Children’s dosage: The children’s dosage listed here is meant for children who weigh less than 88 pounds (40 kg). Children who weigh more than 88 pounds should be dosed according to the adult recommendations.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Amoxicillin comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

Your bacterial infection may not heal, or may get worse. 

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

It’s important to finish the entire course of treatment as prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking the drug or skip doses if you start to feel better. This could cause your infection to last longer. You could also develop a resistance to the medication. This means if you get a bacterial infection in the future, you may not be able to treat it with amoxicillin. 

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • stomach upset
  • diarrhea

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

The symptoms of your infection should improve.

Amoxicillin is used for short-term treatment.

Certain forms should be taken after a meal

You can take the amoxicillin capsule, tablet, chewable tablet, or suspension with or without food.

You should take amoxicillin extended-release tablets within 1 hour of finishing a meal.

Don’t crush, cut, or chew the extended-release tablets

You can crush, cut, or chew the regular or chewable tablets.

Store this drug carefully

  • Store amoxicillin at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

Your and your doctor should monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include: 

  • Kidney function. Blood tests can check how well your kidneys are working. If your kidneys aren’t working well, your doctor may decide to lower your dose of this drug.
  • Liver function. Blood tests can check how well your liver is working. If your liver isn’t working well, your doctor may lower your dose of this drug.

Hidden costs

You may need to have blood tests to check your kidney and liver function while you take this drug. The cost of these tests will depend on your insurance coverage.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does amoxicillin Cost?

Oral tablet

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for amoxicillin on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on January 21, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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