Augmentin vs. Amoxicillin: Differences and side effects

Augmentin vs. Amoxicillin: Differences and side effects

Augmentin and Amoxicillin are two prescription antibiotics that are recommended by doctors to treat bacterial infections like sinusitis, ear infections, UTIs, and others.

When you suffer from a skin infection, sinus infection, or ear infection, the doctor might most probably recommend you an antibiotic like Augmentin or Amoxicillin.

These types of infections are usually caused by diverse strains of bacteria that can lead to serious complications, if not treated on time. It is necessary to treat these infections with the right antibiotic, get rid of the infection as well as prevent antibiotic resistance.

However, if you are still wondering what is the difference between Augmentin and Amoxicillin then you have come to the right place.

You must know that Amoxicillin and Augmentin are the same prescription antibiotics that are effective in treating several infections.

Augmentin contains amoxicillin and clavulanate, making Augmentin more effective than amoxicillin alone for treating certain infections. Remember Amoxicillin and Augmentin belongs to the class of drugs called penicillin.

Amoxicillin vs. Augmentin – Differences

Here are some differences between Amoxicillin & Augmentin:

Amoxicillin

Amoxicillin is a generic antibiotic and is available by the brand name Amoxiland Moxatag. This antibiotic is mainly used for treating bacterial infections in children as well as adults. Amoxicillin often comes with mild side effects.

It treats infections caused by a broad range of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. This medication is highly effective in treating respiratory tract infections, skin infections, ear infections, H.pylori infections, and urinary tract infections.

Amoxicillin is available in different strengths including 250mg or 500mg capsule and a 500mg or 875mg tablet. Other formulations are also available including oral suspensions and chewable tablets. 

Augmentin

Augmentin is a brand-name antibiotic and the generic version of Augmentin is amoxicillin combined with clavulanate or clavulanic acid. Clavulanate is a beta-lactamase inhibitor that helps in blocking bacterial enzymes from inactivating amoxicillin.

Augmentin is effective in treating similar infections to amoxicillin plus certain infections that might have developed antibiotic resistance against amoxicillin like persistent ear infections.

It is important to know that this antibiotic is available in oral tablet form that contains 125mg of clavulanate and 250mg, 500mg, or 875mg of amoxicillin. Just like amoxicillin, Augmentin also comes in oral suspension and chewable tablets. Apart from this, you can also find Augmentin in an extended-release tablet known as Augmentin XR.

Bacterial infections treated by Amoxicillin

Doctors often recommend Amoxicillin tablets for treating the following infections:

  • Strep throat
  • Ear infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Tonsillitis
  • Skin infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Helicobacter pylori infections
  • Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia or gonorrhea

Bacterial infections treated with Augmentin

Doctors might recommend Augmentin in order to treat the same infections as Amoxicillin. However, this medicine is also effective in treating infections that can be more drug-resistant like:

  • Pharyngitis
  • Sinus infections
  • Serious skin infections like abscesses or erysipelas
  • Stubborn or chronic ear infections
  • Laryngitis
  • Bacterial infections related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Drug interactions of Amoxicillin vs. Augmentin

Amoxicillin and Augmentin might interact with other medicines like probenecid and allopurinol. When allopurinol is combined with amoxicillin or Augmentin might increase the risk of a skin rash.

Intake of amoxicillin or Augmentin along with anticoagulants such as warfarin might increase your risk of suffering from bleeding. Your doctor might also adjust the dosage of anticoagulants while treating your condition with Amoxicillin or Augmentin.

The use of these antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of your oral birth control pills that contain estrogen or progesterone.

Side effects of Amoxicillin vs. Augmentin

Amoxicillin side effects

Here are some common side effects of Amoxicillin:

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Headache
  • Gas
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Bloody or prolonged diarrhea
  • Rashes
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Reversible hepatitis
  • Allergic reactions

Serious side effects of Amoxicillin include:

  • Low platelet or red blood cell count
  • Seizures
  • Serious allergic reactions like anaphylaxis

Augmentin side effects

Here are some common side effects of Augmentin:

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Headache
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Heartburn
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody or prolonged diarrhea
  • Allergic reactions
  • Reversible hepatitis
  • Rashes
  • Easy bruising or bleeding

Serious & rare side effects of Augmentin include:

  • Seizures
  • Low platelet or red blood cell count
  • Serious allergic reactions

 

Therefore, before taking Augmentin or Amoxicillin, it is important to consult the doctor once.