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Ampicillin

What is ampicillin?

Ampicillin oral capsule is a prescription drug that’s only available in a generic form. Ampicillin also comes as an oral suspension and in an intravenous (IV) form, which is only given by a healthcare provider.

Ampicillin is used to treat certain infections that are caused by bacteria such as meningitis (infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord); and infections of the throat, sinuses, lungs, reproductive organs, urinary tract, and gastrointestinal tract. Ampicillin is in a class of medications called penicillins. It works by killing bacteria.

Why it's used

Ampicillin is used to treat infections that are caused by certain types of bacteria. Ampicillin may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Ampicillin is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. It is a penicillin-type antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.

This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Using any antibiotic when it is not needed can cause it to not work for future infections.

Ampicillin may interact with other medications

Ampicillin oral capsule can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with ampicillin oral capsule are listed below.

Interactions

Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: methotrexate, tetracyclines, warfarin.

Although most antibiotics are unlikely to affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, a few antibiotics (such as rifampin, rifabutin) can decrease their effectiveness. This could result in pregnancy.

side effects

  • Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
  • Hives or rash
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Thrush or yeast infection
  • Black, hairy tongue
  • High levels of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell

Precautions

Before using ampicillin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, a certain type of viral infection (infectious mononucleosis).

Ampicillin may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) to not work as well. Do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication unless your doctor tells you to.

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