Precautions and Warnings With Amoxicillin and Clavulanate Potassium
Ask your healthcare provider about precautions and warnings with amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium before starting treatment to help minimize risks. Let him or her know if you have phenylketonuria, liver disease, or kidney disease before taking the antibiotic. Precautions and warnings with amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium also apply to people who are allergic to penicillin or who have had liver problems due to the drug.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium (Augmentin®) if you have:
- Liver disease, including liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- A penicillin allergy
- Any other allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium include the following:
- The medication contains an antibiotic that belongs to the penicillin group. Therefore, you should not take amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium if you are allergic to penicillin. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, such as a rash, itching, hives, wheezing, swelling of the mouth or lips, or difficulty breathing. An allergic reaction to the drug can be dangerous.
- Let your healthcare provider know if you experience diarrhea that is severe or that lasts for more than two or three days. While diarrhea is a common side effect of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium, severe or prolonged diarrhea may be a sign of a serious reaction to the antibiotic.
- Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely if you have liver or kidney disease, since these problems often affect the way your body handles medications. Also, amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium may make either of these conditions worse.
- Sometimes, antibiotics (including amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium) can cause yeast infections. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop a vaginal yeast infection or thrush (a yeast infection of the mouth) while taking the drug.
- The medication should not be used to treat viruses, such as the common cold. It is completely ineffective against viruses, and such use can lead to bacterial resistance to amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium.
- You must take amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium exactly as prescribed. Skipping doses or stopping the drug too early (even if you feel better) can lead to bacterial resistance to the antibiotic.
- Some amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium products contain phenylalanine. This is important for people with phenylketonuria, who must monitor their phenylalanine intake. If you have phenylketonuria, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking the drug.
- Amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium can interact with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Amoxicillin and Clavulanate Potassium).
- Amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug when pregnant (see Augmentin and Pregnancy).
- Amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using the drug (see Augmentin and Breastfeeding).
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