|Clavulanic acid||Beta-lactamase inhibitor|
|Trade names||Augmentin, Clavulin, other|
|By mouth, intravenous|
|Defined daily dose||1.5 gram (by mouth)|
3 gram (by injection)
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||602.66 g·mol−1|
|3D model (JSmol)|
|(what is this?)|
Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, also known as co-amoxiclav, is an antibiotic useful for the treatment of a number of bacterial infections. It is a combination consisting of amoxicillin, a β-lactam antibiotic, and potassium clavulanate, a β-lactamase inhibitor. It is specifically used for otitis media, strep throat, pneumonia, cellulitis, urinary tract infections, and animal bites. It is taken by mouth or by injection into a vein.
Common side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, and allergic reactions. It also increases the risk of yeast infections, headaches, and blood clotting problems. It is not recommended in people with a history of a penicillin allergy. It is relatively safe for use during pregnancy.
Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid was approved for medical use in the United States in 1984. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines. It is available as a generic medication. The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$0.18–1.14 per day. In the United States a course of treatment costs $50–100. In 2017, it was the 116th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than six million prescriptions.
Conditions amoxicillin/clavulanic acid is used to treat or prevent include:
- urinary tract infections and acute pyelonephritis.
- respiratory tract infections including pneumonia acquired in the community or in hospital.
- skin and soft tissue infections
- sinus infections
- acute otitis media
- cat scratches
- infections caused by the bacterial within the mouth, such as:
This combination results in an antibiotic with an increased spectrum of action and restored efficacy against amoxicillin-resistant bacteria that produce β-lactamase.
The defined daily dose is 1.5 grams by mouth and 3 grams by injection (based on the amoxicillin amount). For animal bites 1000 mg/125 mg twice per day by mouth or 875 mg/125 mg twice per day for 5 to 7 days may be used. In children the dose is 25 mg/kg of the amoxicillin component. For bladder infections in girls over the age of two 12.5 mg/kg twice per day may be used. For post partum infections the dose is 1000 mg/125 mg three times per day or 875 mg/125 mg three times per day for 7 days.
By injection the dose is generally 1 gram every 8 hours in adults and 20 to 30 mg every 8 hours in children over the age of 3 months. For necrotizing infections; however, a dose of 2 grams every 8 hours in those over 40 kg or 50 mg/kg every eight hours in children over 3 months is used.
Possible side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, thrush, and skin rash. These do not usually require medical attention. As with all antimicrobial agents, antibiotic-associated diarrhea due to Clostridium difficile infection—sometimes leading to pseudomembranous colitis—may occur during or after treatment with amoxicillin/clavulanic acid.
Rarely, cholestatic jaundice (also referred to as cholestatic hepatitis, a form of liver toxicity) has been associated with amoxicillin/clavulanic acid. The reaction may occur up to several weeks after treatment has stopped, and usually takes weeks to resolve. It is more frequent in men, older people, and those who have taken long courses of treatment; the estimated overall incidence is one in 100,000 exposures. In the United Kingdom, co-amoxiclav carries a warning from the Committee on Safety of Medicines to this effect.
British scientists working at Beecham (now part of GlaxoSmithKline), filed for US patent protection for the drug combination in 1979. They marketed it under the trade name Augmentin. A patent was granted in 1985.
Society and culture
Suspensions of amoxicillin/clavulanic acid are available for use in children. They must be refrigerated to maintain effectiveness.
Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid is used in numerous animals for a variety of conditions:
- Dogs: periodontitis, kennel cough
- Cats: urinary tract infections, skin and soft tissue infections
- Calves: enteritis, navel ill
- Cattle: respiratory tract infections, soft tissue infections, metritis, mastitis
- Pigs: respiratory tract infections, colibacillosis, mastitis, metritis, agalactia
Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid is banned from use in domestic-food animals (cattle, swine, etc.) in both the US and Europe; in the UK, Synulox can be used in domestic-food animals as long as a specified withdrawal period is observed.
Bacterial antibiotic resistance is a growing problem in veterinary medicine. Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid is reported to be effective against clinical Klebsiella infections, but is not efficacious against Pseudomonas infections.
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