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Amoxicillin is a semisynthetic antibacterial preparation of the penicillin series. According to some sources, Amoxicillin is one of the most frequently prescribed antibiotics for the treatment of children. The preparation was synthesized by researchers of the British company Beecham back in 1960. After 12 years, during which the clinical trial of the new drug, it appeared on sale. It became the second semisynthetic penicillin agent after ampicillin, developed in 1961.
Today we can say boldly that the achievements of Amoxicillin are enormous: after 42 years the antibiotic is still used all over the world. The World Health Organization has included the drug in the list of essential drugs that are needed in the health system. Often pediatricians prefer the old, but true Amoxicillin. At the same time, the ranks of disillusioned doctors and patients are gradually increasing, not receiving the expected effect or, on the contrary, having received an unexpected effect. Let’s try to understand how justified are the aspirations of those who selflessly believe in the power of it. Is the drug safe, and most importantly – is it always effective?
The composition and pharmacological effect of Amoxicillin
Amoxicillin consists of a single active substance: amoxicillin trihydrate, which is an analog of ampicillin with a slightly modified formula. The pharmacological effect of all penicillins is based on their ability to disrupt the synthesis of the cell wall of sensitive bacteria. The spectrum of pharmacological activity of it is very wide. Among the microorganisms sensitive to the drug are:
- aerobic gram-positive staphylococci and streptococci;
- Gram-negative pathogens of gonorrhea, Escherichia coli, Shigella, Salmonella and Klebsiella
Such different Amoxicillin: release forms
Amoxicillin refers to drugs that are produced in a variety of doses and forms of release. Companies producing medicines are trying to create their own, most “convenient” drug. So, let’s try to figure out which Amoxicillin can be purchased at the pharmacy. Pharmaceutical companies have mastered the release of the following forms of a popular antibiotic:
- Amoxicillin infant suspension in doses of 125 mg and 250 mg;
- Amoxicillin in tablets or capsules of 250 mg, 500 and 1000 mg;
I would like to note that it, as, indeed, most antibiotics, refers to substances that are not able to retain chemical-physical properties in the dissolved state. Therefore, the suspension is available in the form of a powder or granules, which must be dissolved before use.
Indications for use – what helps Amoxicillin?
So, as in the case with all antibacterial agents, the indications for taking antibiotics are related to the activity spectrum. Among the indications for the use of it are the leading bacterial infections of the respiratory tract – bronchitis and pneumonia. In addition, indications for the appointment are various inflammatory diseases of the ENT organs. Otitis media, antritis (article ” Antibiotics for sinusitis “), sinusitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis successfully respond to Amoxicillin. Separately, I would like to emphasize the effectiveness of the drug in angina caused by beta-hemolytic streptococcus group B.
Amoxicillin for the treatment of infections of the genitourinary system
In the instructions for use of Amoxicillin in the list of indications there are infections of the genitourinary system: urethritis, cervicitis, as well as inflammation of the bladder, kidneys and other diseases. Most pathologies of the genito-urinary tract are caused by gram-negative bacteria, many of which produce penicillinase. This means that in a significant number of cases the means in question will be ineffective.
I would like to note that antibodies of the fluoroquinolone series are considered the gold standard for the treatment of diseases of the urinary tract. Amoxicillin and other penicillins are rarely used for this purpose. However, fluoroquinolones are absolutely contraindicated in children, pregnant women and breast-feeding. In such cases, the administration of penicillin antibiotics is possible. Nevertheless, preference is best given to protected penicillins to encompass strains of bacteria that produce penicillinase.
Therefore, despite the clear indication in the instruction of a solid list of urological and gynecological diseases in which it is effective, it is better to prefer another drug to it. I would like to once again caution every patient from the desire to prescribe an antibiotic on his own, based on his everyday experience. As medical practice shows, this self-confidence too often leads to trouble.
Reception of Amoxicillin for cold: an error?
A separate chapter I would like to devote to the unfading theme – the reception of antibacterial agents for colds. It’s amazing, but the fact is: a lot of patients during the cold season storm pharmacies with the requirement to “sell antibiotic”. Often, the timid attempts of pharmacists to resist the onslaught of persistent citizens and explain the treatment of colds will not succeed. People persistently use antibiotics, including Amoxicillin, for a cold!
And … for some reason they see the effect. Let’s try to figure out what’s going on. Many patients believe that the cause of the common cold is cold wind, draft or wet feet. Most do not even suspect: a cold is the same viral disease as ARVI. An unfavorable factor provoked a decrease in immunity, and the infection easily crossed the protective barrier. Why do many patients observe the action of the medicine and ascertain the “healing” from the cold after the course of Amoxicillin? Everything is very simple. In the overwhelming majority of cases, a respiratory virus in our body is inevitable death.
In immunocompetent patients, the symptoms of ARI are resolved on their own within one week. Looking ahead, we will say that the minimum course of treatment with Amoxicillin is five days. It is not surprising that after treatment with the antibiotic of colds, many patients ascertain the healing. And it is true. With one caveat: Amoxicillin has nothing to do with recovery from a cold. The disease coped with the body itself. So, taking Amoxicillin with a cold is a variant of an absolutely unreasonable prescription of antibiotics.
Treatment Rules: How to Take Amoxicillin
Correctly selected antibiotic – this is not a guarantee of successful treatment. In many ways, the effectiveness of therapy depends, oddly enough, on the patient himself. So, let’s try to figure out how to safely and correctly take Amoxicillin.
The minimum course of treatment with Amoxicillin should be five days.
The big mistake of some patients is to stop using Amoxicillin immediately after several days of treatment. Some patients after two or three days of treatment come to a hasty conclusion about recovery, and decide to stop taking Amoxicillin. After all, if the antibiotic is prescribed correctly, the first results may appear within a day or even less after the start of therapy. Meanwhile, only after five days or more to be sure of a complete victory over the bacteria. At the same time, the doctor should choose the exact course of treatment. The duration of treatment with antibacterial drugs is from five days to two weeks and even more. How much time to take Amoxicillin should be decided by the doctor.
Amoxicillin should be drunk twice a day, preferably at regular intervals.
During treatment with antibiotics, you should not miss the next dose, because the effectiveness of the drug in this case is sharply reduced. The concentration of the drug in the blood drops, and the bacteria that have already begun to succumb to the action of Amoxicillin, continue to multiply again. And now – with a double speed, ready for the next dose of a drug already familiar to them.
Amoxicillin should be taken after meals.
Dependence of this rule depends on the tolerability of the drug. Taking the drug on an empty stomach causes irritation of the walls of the stomach. Therefore, it is in the patient’s interest not to hurry up and take the medication in the morning after breakfast, and in the evening after supper.
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