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7 Side Effects of Amoxicillin You Need to Know

Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, Pharm.D

Updated on June 27th, 2023

Save up to 88% on your medications

Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, PharmD

Are you considering Amoxicillin or already have a prescription? It's essential to stay informed about the potential side effects. Amoxicillin is a popular and cost-effective antibiotic that's widely used in the United States. While it's generally well-tolerated, being aware of its common side effects is crucial. Don't worry, we'll help you understand what to expect and when to seek medical assistance if necessary. Let's dive into the details!

What is Amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic that treats various bacterial infections in adults and children. It works for UTIs, respiratory infections, skin infections, and strep throat. You'll typically take it orally 2 to 3 times a day for a short period. Amoxicillin comes in tablets, capsules, chewable tablets, and oral suspension. Sometimes it's prescribed with clavulanate (Augmentin) to enhance effectiveness.

Side Effects of Amoxicillin

Remember, Amoxicillin is generally well-tolerated, but it does have side effects. Most are mild and go away on their own, but others might need medical attention. Here are the main ones to watch out for:

  1. Nausea: It's common to feel a little queasy with Amoxicillin. Taking it with food helps, and you can use over-the-counter remedies like dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or meclizine (Bonine).

  2. Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting can happen with Amoxicillin. Take it with food to minimize the chances. If you do vomit shortly after taking it, consult your doctor about whether you need another dose.

  3. Diarrhea: Antibiotics, including Amoxicillin, can cause diarrhea. Taking it with food helps, and you can use loperamide (Imodium) for relief if needed. Stay hydrated with an electrolyte drink. If you experience severe diarrhea, stomach pain, or fever, contact your doctor immediately.

  4. Skin Rash: About 10% of people may develop a rash while on Amoxicillin. It's usually mild and goes away on its own. Use over-the-counter remedies like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or hydrocortisone cream for relief.

  5. Headache: Amoxicillin can sometimes cause headaches, but they're usually mild and temporary. Reach for over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol if needed.

  6. Taste and Smell Changes: Some people notice a metallic or sour taste while taking Amoxicillin. Don't worry, it's temporary and your senses should return to normal after completing treatment.

  7. Allergic Reactions: Allergies to penicillin antibiotics, including Amoxicillin, affect about 10% of people, but only 1% truly have an allergy. If you experience hives, wheezing, throat tightness, or rapid heartbeat, seek emergency medical care immediately.

When to Seek Medical Help

Most Amoxicillin side effects are mild and go away on their own, but if they're severe or last too long, consult your doctor. And remember, an anaphylactic reaction is a medical emergency; seek immediate help if you have this kind of reaction.

How to Save on Amoxicillin

To save on your Amoxicillin prescription, consider the generic version; it's consistently more affordable than the name brand. You can also use an RxLess discount coupon and save up to 88% at popular pharmacies like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens.

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