What Should You Avoid While Taking Amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is a relatively generic antibiotic that can treat several bacterial infections like pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and skin infections. Specifically, it is a penicillin antibiotic that will kill bacteria and block them to prevent contagion and make you feel better. 

You may only need to take amoxicillin for a few days to get it to work and kill the contagion and then your body can fight the illness itself. There may be side effects and you should watch what other medications you take to ensure its effectiveness. 

In this guide, we will look at what you should avoid while taking amoxicillin. We will also look at what amoxicillin typically treats, hypersensitivity with amoxicillin, and its common, as well as serious, side effects.

Table of Contents

What Amoxicillin Typically Treats?

Amoxicillin is known as a penicillin antibiotic which is typically used to treat bacterial infections like chest infections that can include pneumonia. 

The antibiotic can also be taken to treat dental abscesses and used with other medications in treating stomach ulcers. When prescribed to children, amoxicillin is used to treat chest infections as well as ear infections too. It can be given as an injection though it is easily swallowed orally as a liquid or a capsule.

How to Take Amoxicillin?

You can take amoxicillin without or with food though if you do miss a dose, you should take another one as soon as you can though try not to double dose. For the oral liquid, shake the bottle well and then measure up the dose with a spoon, medicine cup, or oral syringe. You can also mix the liquid with milk, baby formula, fruit juice, and simple water which is ideal for children. Should you take amoxicillin as a capsule then just swallow it orally with some water.

What You Should Avoid While Taking Amoxicillin?

If you want to get the most out of your amoxicillin treatment then there are medications that you will want to avoid. These include methotrexate, which is used to treat psoriasis and arthritis, a gout medication known as allopurinol (also known as probenecid), and warfarin which is used to prevent blood clots. Other antibiotics can counter the effectiveness of amoxicillin so check with your physician first.

Amoxicillin can also interact with several minor drugs and that can cause problems. The effectiveness of oral contraceptives may be reduced when used with amoxicillin too. Then there are tetracyclines which can reduce the effectiveness of amoxicillin including other antibiotics like doxycycline. Live bacteria vaccines like those for typhoid may be less effective for an individual while they are taking amoxicillin.   

That’s the guidance for antibiotics yet there are also certain foods you should avoid eating while taking amoxicillin. These foods can interfere with how the amoxicillin is absorbed as an antibiotic and combinations can even make you feel ill. 

You can include alcohol which can lead to several unpleasant side effects like dizziness, nausea, and abdominal pain. Sugar and yeast consumption may lead to candida infections, excess calcium may interfere with the absorption of antibiotics which is similar to how grapefruit contains compounds that can prevent full absorption.

Hypersensitivity With Amoxicillin

There are such things as penicillin antibiotic allergies which can be incredibly hazardous and are reported by one in ten. Though that does make them incredibly common, the side effects can be mistaken for a simple allergy. 

Even for those who do have a verifiable hypersensitive reaction to penicillin antibiotics, a lot of the reactions are mild and may only be a skin rash. The most severe symptom is actually life-threatening and that’s anaphylaxis but only 0.02 up to 0.04% of the population has that true allergy that will result in the symptom. 

How effective amoxicillin is may also depend on medical problems that may be present at the same time. Certainly, if you have an allergy to penicillin or even cephalosporin antibiotics like cephalexin and cefadroxil, that can be problematic. 

A viral infection known as mononucleosis should not be used with amoxicillin. The penicillin antibiotic should be used cautiously with an individual who has severe kidney disease. Those side effects may even be increased due to the slower removal of the antibiotic from the body. There is also a chewable tablet known as phenylketonuria which contains phenylalanine which can make your conditions worse.

The Common Side Effects of Amoxicillin

Even if you fail to take amoxicillin with certain problematic foods and medications, there may still be some common side effects. These should be manageable and relatively temporary including a rash, a headache, fatigue, and nausea. You could suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and even tongue discoloration.  

The Serious Side Effects of Amoxicillin

Though the serious side effects of amoxicillin are concerning, they should be less common. One serious side effect is a superinfection that seems counter-productive to using an antibiotic. 

Pretty much all antibiotics are there to kill native bacteria colonies and that does leave it open for other microorganisms to grow and cause a superinfection. In the case of amoxicillin, the most well-known superinfections are fungal in nature and occur in the vagina or mouth but also include overgrown Clostridium difficile occurring in the colon.  

There are also liver problems including swelling, known as hepatitis, and cholestatic jaundice. Blood disorders can include hemolytic anemia, which is rapid red blood cell death, or agranulocytosis which is low counts of a specific white blood cell type. Then there are severe allergic reactions to consider, seizures, brain swelling, and spinal cord membranes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens if You Take Too Much and Overdose on Amoxicillin?

You should only take amoxicillin as the prescription dictates, for as long as it says so. If you do take too much amoxicillin, you can suffer from some unpleasant side effects like diarrhea and an upset stomach. An overdose of amoxicillin may cause kidney damage and even result in renal failure. Should you suspect an overdose of amoxicillin then you should contact a poison control center.

Who May Not Be Given Amoxicillin?

Thankfully, there is no proven evidence that amoxicillin would harm a fetus yet some healthcare providers are not convinced that it is safe to take for a pregnant woman. Those that have severe anaphylactic allergic reactions to penicillin and beta-lactam antibiotics would not be given amoxicillin either. It can be given to individuals who have a history of mild, usually very mild, allergies to beta-lactams but that would require a skin test. Those who have several allergies and asthma would also need to be tested first and then monitored. 

How Can DrHouse Help You?

DrHouse is a platform for telehealth that allows you to quickly and conveniently access healthcare services. With DrHouse’s secure telehealth app, you can connect with a board-certified doctor within minutes. This enables you to receive help without waiting for an appointment or going to a doctor’s office.

If you are thinking about taking amoxicillin or have already started a course of the medication, our doctors can answer your questions and provide guidance on how to best take the medication for optimal results. Our doctors can also help you identify any potential drug interactions and advise you on what foods to avoid while taking amoxicillin.

Our doctors can also prescribe antibiotics online and refill prescriptions for amoxicillin if needed. So if you need help with antibiotics or any other medications, download the DrHouse app today and get the guidance and support you need!

Final Thoughts

If you are prescribed amoxicillin, make sure that you read and follow the prescription to the letter. There may be complications if you take certain foods though let your physician know if you are taking any other medications as that can cause problems with effectiveness. 

Though there are side effects when taking amoxicillin, these tend to be minor and are manageable. For those serious side effects, such as anaphylaxis, it helps to check out if you have an allergy to penicillin antibiotics first.  

Sources:

  • Akhavan BJ, Khanna NR, Vijhani P. Amoxicillin. [Updated 2022 Aug 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482250/
  • Ronchera CL, Hernández T, Peris JE, Torres F, Granero L, Jiménez NV, Plá JM. Pharmacokinetic interaction between high-dose methotrexate and amoxycillin. Ther Drug Monit. 1993 Oct;15(5):375-9. doi: 10.1097/00007691-199310000-00004. PMID: 8249043.
  • Patterson RA, Stankewicz HA. Penicillin Allergy. [Updated 2022 Jun 23]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459320/
  • Gillies M, Ranakusuma A, Hoffmann T, Thorning S, McGuire T, Glasziou P, Del Mar C. Common harms from amoxicillin: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials for any indication. CMAJ. 2015 Jan 6;187(1):E21-E31. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.140848. Epub 2014 Nov 17. PMID: 25404399; PMCID: PMC4284189.

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Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.

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