What Are the Most Common Ampicillin Side Effects?

Meshell Powell

Ampicillin side effects are generally mild and do not pose any significant health risks, although any new or bothersome symptoms that develop after beginning treatment with this antibiotic should be reported to a doctor for further evaluation. Some of the most frequently reported side effects include digestive disturbances, decreased urination, and flu-like symptoms. Muscle weakness, abnormal bleeding or bruising, and yeast infections are also among the possible ampicillin side effects. Confusion, seizures, and allergic reactions may sometimes occur when taking this medication. Any specific questions or concerns about potential ampicillin side effects should be discussed with a doctor or pharmacist.

Confusion is one possible side effect of ampicillin.
Confusion is one possible side effect of ampicillin.

Digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are among the most common ampicillin side effects. While these symptoms are normally mild, dehydration may occur if the diarrhea or vomiting becomes severe or lasts for a prolonged period of time. Additional medications may be prescribed to reduce the severity of these side effects if they become particularly bothersome. Vomit that resembles coffee grounds or bloody diarrhea should be reported to a doctor immediately in order to rule out serious complications.

Decreased urination is a relatively common symptom of this antibiotic and should be reported to a doctor so that renal function can be tested. Flu-like symptoms such as fever, coughing, and sore throat are also among the possible ampicillin side effects and usually go away after the medication has been discontinued. Muscle discomfort and weakness may develop and should be reported to a doctor if it begins to impact the ability to perform normal tasks.

A person who takes ampicillin may notice abnormal bruising or may bleed more easily than usual. Those with bleeding disorders may not be able to safely take this type of antibiotic. Secondary yeast infections sometimes develop as well and can affect the mouth or genitals. Unusual vaginal discharge and itching are possible signs of a yeast infection. Thrush is a medical term used to describe a yeast infection of the mouth and is characterized by white spots, pain, and inflammation.

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Serious side effects such as confusion, agitation, or seizures should be reported to a medical professional immediately. Signs of an allergic reaction may include hives, itching, and blistering or peeling of the skin. Anaphylaxis is a potentially fatal type of allergic reaction that causes the tongue and throat to swell and may also lead to chest pain, difficulty breathing, or loss of consciousness. Emergency medical attention should be sought any time that an allergic reaction to ampicillin is suspected.

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