Amoxicillin Precautions and Warnings
There are many precautions and warnings with amoxicillin to be aware of before starting treatment. For example, you should talk to your healthcare provider if you have phenylketonuria or kidney disease before using amoxicillin. Precautions and warnings also include watching out for potential drug interactions, avoiding the drug if you have a penicillin allergy, and notifying your healthcare provider immediately if you experience bloody or watery diarrhea.
Amoxicillin: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking amoxicillin (Amoxil®, Moxatag™) if you have:
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- A penicillin allergy
- Any other allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Warnings and Precautions for Amoxicillin
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with amoxicillin include the following:
- Amoxicillin contains an antibiotic that belongs to the penicillin group of antibiotics. You should not take amoxicillin if you are allergic to penicillin. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, such as a rash, itching, hives, wheezing, swelling of the mouth or lips, or difficulty breathing. An allergic reaction to amoxicillin can be very dangerous.
- Let your healthcare provider know if you experience bloody or watery diarrhea. While diarrhea is a common side effect of amoxicillin, bloody or watery diarrhea may be a sign of a serious reaction to amoxicillin that can occur when certain bacteria (Clostridium difficile) overgrow in the colon. This severe reaction can occur long after you stop taking amoxicillin and can be life-threatening.
- Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have kidney disease, as you may need a lower amoxicillin dosage.
- Sometimes, antibiotics (including amoxicillin) can cause yeast infections, since they can get rid of "good" bacteria that help protect against yeast infections. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop a vaginal yeast infection or thrush (a yeast infection of the mouth) while taking amoxicillin.
- Amoxicillin should not be used to treat viruses, such as the common cold or the flu. Amoxicillin is completely ineffective for treating viruses, and such use can lead to bacterial resistance to amoxicillin.
- It is very important to take amoxicillin exactly as prescribed. Skipping doses or stopping amoxicillin too early (even if you feel better) can lead to bacterial resistance to amoxicillin.
- Amoxicillin chewable tablets contain phenylalanine. This is important for people with phenylketonuria, who must monitor their phenylalanine intake. The other amoxicillin products do not contain phenylalanine.
- In general, people with a mononucleosis infection ("mono") should not take amoxicillin, since doing so increases the risk of developing a rash.
- Amoxicillin can interact with other medications (see Amoxicillin Drug Interactions).
- Amoxicillin is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using amoxicillin during pregnancy (see Amoxicillin and Pregnancy for more information).
- Amoxicillin passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using amoxicillin (see Amoxicillin and Breastfeeding for more information).