If you open Amoxicillin instructions for use, you can see a huge list of side effects. This does not mean that every person who will take this drug will experience all of them at once. In most cases, treatment is completely painless and is not accompanied by any unpleasant sensations. However, sometimes a patient still experiences one or another side effect, and the most common of them must be known in advance.
What are side effects and why do they occur?
Side effects in medicine and pharmacology are some of the effects or phenomena of a pathological nature, arising from the use of a drug. Adverse reactions to antibiotics are always associated with their use and, as a rule, disappear after stopping treatment or after changing the preparation.
The occurrence of adverse reactions to antibiotics is a complex pathophysiological process in development, which is attended by many factors. On the one hand, the risk of adverse reactions is determined by the properties of the antibiotic itself, on the other hand – by the response of the patient’s body to it.
For example, it is known that Amoxicillin belongs to low-toxic antibiotics (this is a characteristic feature of penicillin), but in a sensitized organism, it can cause an allergic reaction, the development of which depends on the individual characteristics of the organism.
Also, the occurrence of side effects depends on the dose of antibiotic used and on the duration of treatment. In most cases, the frequency and severity of adverse reactions increases simultaneously with an increase in dose or duration of treatment. The occurrence of some adverse reactions depends on the dosage form of the medicine used (tablets or injections). For example, nausea is most characteristic of oral antibiotics.
Possible side effects of Amoxicillin
Adverse reactions to this drug can be very diverse, and they can differ in severity in different cases. Below, we describe the most common side effects associated with taking Amoxicillin.
- Gastrointestinal system: diarrhea, gastritis, nausea, antibiotic-associated colitis (hemorrhagic colitis, pseudomembranous colitis), hairy and black tongue, stomatitis;
- Blood, lymphatic system: reversible leukopenia (neutropenia), thrombocytopenia/thrombocytosis, agranulocytosis, an increase in prothrombin time, bleeding time, hemolytic anemia, eosinophilia;
- Skin, subcutaneous tissues: redness, rash, pruritus, urticaria, erythema multiforme exudative, exfoliative dermatitis, a syndrome similar to serum sickness, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, acute exanthematic pustus, epidermal necrolysis;
- Kidneys, urinary tract: crystalluria, interstitial nephritis, hematuria;
- Infectious diseases: candidiasis of the skin, mucous membranes, the growth of microorganisms insensitive to antibiotics;
- Immune system: angioedema, allergic vasculitis, anaphylactic reactions;
- Liver, biliary tract: cholestatic jaundice, liver inflammation (hepatitis), increased ALT/AST, alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin in the blood;
- Nervous system: agitation, dizziness, convulsions, hyperactivity, headache, aseptic meningitis, insomnia, anxiety, behavior change.
The antibiotic can also lead to a decrease in the production of vitamin K. Also, the use of the drug sometimes leads to a decrease in the prothrombin index;
An overdose of Amoxicillin can cause severe diarrhea. The overdose treatment should be symptomatic, hemodialysis may be effective.
How to avoid side effects after taking antibiotics?
To reduce the likelihood of side effects, you should consult your doctor or at least a pharmacist to determine the form of the drug and dosage. Now a new generation of drugs, the so-called dispersible (soluble) tablets, has appeared in the market. This modern form of antibiotics has several advantages over pills and capsules. Soluble tablets enter the body in suspension, which increases the absorption properties of the drug. In other words, they are absorbed faster, which eliminates partial dissolution on the way to the stomach and effects on the gastrointestinal tract. This, in turn, helps to avoid many side effects after taking antibiotics.
In any case, when taking Amoxicillin or other antibiotics, follow the simple and well-known rules:
- the drug should only be taken if it’s absolutely necessary (prescribed by a doctor);
- do not consume alcohol during treatment;
- take probiotics.
Antibiotics are modern and very effective medicines that can help to cope with many diseases when used properly. Remember this and stay healthy!