print article

Amoxicillin

Your child needs to take the medicine called amoxicillin (say: a-moks-i-SIL-in). This information sheet explains what amoxicillin does, how to give it, and what side effects or problems your child may have when he or she takes this medicine.

What is amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is a medicine called an antibiotic. Antibiotics are used to treat or prevent certain types of infections caused by bacteria.

You may hear amoxicillin called by its brand name, Amoxil®. Amoxicillin comes in capsule, chewable tablet, and liquid forms.

Before giving amoxicillin to your child:

Tell your doctor if your child has:

  • an allergy to amoxicillin, or penicillin antibiotics, or to other antibiotics

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if your child has any of the following conditions. Precautions may need to be taken with this medicine if your child has:

  • kidney disease
  • stomach or intestinal disease, especially colitis
  • phenylketonuria (PKU) – some chewable tablets may contain phenylalanine

How should you give your child amoxicillin?

Follow these instructions when you give your child amoxicillin:

  • Give your child amoxicillin for as long as your doctor or pharmacist tells you, even if your child seems better. Talk to your child's doctor before you stop giving amoxicillin for any reason.
  • Give your child amoxicillin at the same times every day, exactly as your child's doctor or pharmacist tells you. Pick a time that is easy for you so that you do not miss doses.
  • Your child may take amoxicillin with or without food.
  • If your child is taking chewable tablets, your child should chew the tablets well and thoroughly before swallowing. You can also crush the tablets.
  • If your child is taking liquid amoxicillin, shake the bottle well before giving your child each dose. Measure the dose with the special spoon or syringe that the pharmacist gave you.

What should you do if your child misses a dose of amoxicillin?

  • Give the missed dose as soon as you remember.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose. Give the next dose at the regular time.
  • Do not give your child two doses to make up for one missed dose.

How long does amoxicillin take to work?

Your child may begin to feel better a few days after starting amoxicillin.

What are the possible side effects of amoxicillin?

Your child may have some of these side effects while he or she takes amoxicillin. Check with your child's doctor if your child continues to have any of these side effects, and they do not go away, or they bother your child:

  • watery bowel movements (diarrhea)
  • stomach cramps or bloating (fullness)
  • upset stomach or throwing up

Call your child’s doctor during office hours if your child has any of these side effects:

  • no improvement in condition or if you believe your child’s condition is worse
  • mild skin rash

Most of the following side effects are not common, but they may be a sign of a serious problem. Call your child's doctor right away or take your child to Emergency if your child has any of these side effects:

  • severe skin rash, or hives​ (raised, red itchy areas on the skin)
  • trouble breathing, wheezing or shortness of breath
  • swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • a new fever or a fever that does not get better
  • severe stomach pain
  • severe watery diarrhea, which may have blood or red streaks
  • severe vomiting (throwing up)

What safety measures should you take when your child is using amoxicillin?

Check with your child’s doctor or pharmacist before giving your child any other medicines (prescription, non-prescription, herbal, or natural products).

Birth control pills may not work properly while taking amoxicillin, and for 7 days after the course of antibiotics is finished. If your child takes birth control pills, please tell her doctor or pharmacist.

If your child is diabetic, amoxicillin may cause false test results with some urine glucose (sugar) tests. Check with your child’s pharmacist about what other glucose tests can be used.

What other important information should you know about amoxicillin?

Keep a list of all medications your child is on and show the list to the doctor or to the pharmacist.

Do not share your child’s medicine with others and do not give anyone else’s medicine to your child.

Make sure you always have enough amoxicillin to last through weekends, holidays, and vacations. Call your pharmacy at least 2 days before your child runs out of medicine to order refills.

Keep amoxicillin capsules and chewable tablets at room temperature in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Do not store it in the bathroom or kitchen.

Keep amoxicillin liquid in the refrigerator. Do not freeze this medicine.

Do not keep any medicines that are out of date. Check with your pharmacist about the best way to throw away outdated or leftover medicines.

Keep amoxicillin out of your child’s sight and reach and locked up in a safe place. If your child takes too much amoxicillin, call the Ontario Poison Centre at one of these numbers. These calls are free.

  • Call 416-813-5900 if you live in Toronto.
  • Call 1-800-268-9017 if you live somewhere else in Ontario.
  • If you live outside of Ontario, call your local Poison Information Centre.

Disclaimer: The information in this Family Med-aid is accurate at the time of printing. It provides a summary of information about amoxicillin and does not contain all possible information about this medicine. Not all side effects are listed. If you have any questions or want more information about amoxicillin, speak to your healthcare provider.

Elaine Lau, BScPhm, PharmD, MSc, RPh

3/8/2008




Notes: