Various types of bacterial infections can be treated with Augmentin. Uses of the antibiotic may include the treatment of ear infections, lower respiratory tract infections, and sinus infections. The medication has been approved for use in infants, children, and adults. Off-label Augmentin uses may also include the prevention and treatment of other types of infections.
Augmentin® (amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium) is an antibiotic used to treat a variety of different infections, including:
- Lower respiratory tract infections (such as pneumonia)
- Ear infections
- Sinus infections
- Skin infections
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs), such as bladder infections or kidney infections.
Augmentin is approved for treating the above infections only when they are caused by certain types of bacteria. Not all bacteria (and no viruses) will respond to Augmentin. Also, bacteria have different resistance patterns in different regions in the country. This means that some bacteria may be susceptible to Augmentin in certain parts of the country but not in others.
(This article discusses the approved uses of regular Augmentin only. See other eMedTV articles for information about other Augmentin products).
Overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance. In order to prevent this, "broad-spectrum" antibiotics (which are active against a wide range of bacteria) should not be used to treat infections that could be treated by an antibiotic with a narrower spectrum of activity. Augmentin is usually considered a broad-spectrum antibiotic. In addition, Augmentin should not be used unless tests have shown that a particular infection is caused by bacteria that are susceptible to Augmentin or if there is reason to strongly suspect that the bacteria are susceptible to the medication.
It is important to note that a high percentage of people with mononucleosis ("mono") who take antibiotics similar to Augmentin develop a skin rash. Therefore, the medication is not recommended for use in people with mononucleosis.