Clavulanate potassium is a form of clavulanic acid, which is similar to penicillin. Clavulanate potassium fights bacteria that is often resistant to penicillins and other antibiotics.
Augmentin is used to treat many different infections caused by bacteria, such as sinusitis, pneumonia, ear infections, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, and infections of the skin.
Augmentin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Augmentin
Do not use Augmentin if you are allergic to amoxicillin or clavulanate potassium, or if you have ever had liver problems caused by this medication. Do not use if you are allergic to any other penicillin antibiotic, such as amoxicillin (Amoxil, Augmentin, Dispermox, Moxatag), ampicillin (Principen, Unasyn), dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen), oxacillin (Bactocill), or penicillin (Bicillin L-A, PC Pen VK, Pfizerpen), and others.
Before taking Augmentin, tell your doctor if you have liver disease (or a history of hepatitis or jaundice), kidney disease, or mononucleosis, or if you are allergic to a cephalosporin antibiotic, such as cefdinir (Omnicef), cefprozil (Cefzil), cefuroxime (Ceftin), cephalexin (Keflex), and others.
If you switch from one tablet form to another (regular, chewable, or extended-release tablet), take only the new tablet form and strength prescribed for you. This medicine may not be as effective or could be harmful if you do not use the exact tablet form your doctor has prescribed.
Amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Augmentin can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking Augmentin.
Before taking Augmentin
FDA pregnancy category B. Augmentin is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Augmentin can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking Augmentin. Amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use Augmentin without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
The liquid and chewable tablet forms of this medication may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using these forms of Augmentin if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
How should I take Augmentin?
Take Augmentin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
If you switch from one tablet form to another (regular, chewable, or extended-release tablet), take only the new tablet form and strength prescribed for you. The strength of clavulanate potassium is not the same among the different tablet forms, even though the amount of amoxicillin may be the same as in the tablet you were using before. This medicine may not be as effective or could be harmful if you do not use the exact tablet form your doctor has prescribed. Take this medicine with a full glass of water. Take the medicine at the start of a meal to reduce stomach upset.
Take the medicine at the same time each day.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, skin rash, drowsiness, and hyperactivity.
What should I avoid while taking Augmentin?
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, stop taking Augmentin and call your doctor. Do not use any medicine to stop the diarrhea unless your doctor has told you to.
Augmentin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Augmentin: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it;
pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, confusion or weakness;
easy bruising or bleeding;
skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
agitation, confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior, seizure (convulsions);
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Less serious Augmentin side effects may include:
mild diarrhea, gas, stomach pain;
nausea or vomiting;
skin rash or itching;
white patches in your mouth or throat; or
vaginal yeast infection (itching or discharge).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Augmentin?
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); or
another antibiotic (for the same or for a different infection).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Augmentin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.