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What is Generic Amoxicillin?

By D. Jeffress
Updated May 17, 2024
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Generic amoxicillin is a prescription antibiotic used to treat many different types of infections, including those caused by streptococcus and staphylococcus bacteria. The drug is chemically similar to penicillin and stops bacterial growth in much the same way. It is available in chewable tablets, capsules, and liquid solutions. Amoxicillin is marketed under many different brand names, but the generic variety is popular among many patients because it is generally cheaper to obtain and provides the exact same active ingredient. The drug is well-tolerated by most people, and it is safe for use by adults and pediatric patients.

When generic amoxicillin is taken orally, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to the site of an active infection. It penetrates bacterial cells and disrupts the process of cell wall synthesis. Cells that cannot maintain their protective walls are unable to grow or reproduce, and they eventually expire. Generic amoxicillin is often combined with another drug called clavulanic acid to increase its effectiveness against a wide range of bacterial pathogens.

When determining the proper dosage amount to prescribe, a doctor will consider the patient's age and his or her specific health problem. Most adults who have acute bacterial pneumonia, bronchitis, or infections of the skin, throat, or urinary tract are instructed to take either 250 or 500 milligrams every eight hours. Infants and young children are generally given much smaller doses. Patients need to continue taking the medication for about two weeks on average, even if they start feeling better earlier in treatment, to ensure that bacteria have been completely eradicated from their bodies. In the case of a gonorrheal infection, however, a one-time 3 gram dose of generic amoxicillin has shown to be more effective than a long course of treatment.

Generic amoxicillin is not likely to cause major side effects. It is possible to experience digestive problems such as stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, but such side effects usually disappear after the first few days of treatment as the body adjusts to the medication. Rarely, a more serious reaction can occur that causes dizziness, anxiety, mental confusion, and trouble sleeping. If a person is allergic to the drug, he or she may develop a widespread, itchy skin rash and swelling in the airways. It is essential to stop taking the drug at the first signs of a severe reaction and get emergency medical help to prevent complications.

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