This leaflet is about the use of the antibiotic amoxicillin for the treatment of bacterial infections.
This leaflet has been written specifically about the use of this medicine in children. The information may differ from that provided by the manufacturer. Please read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.
If your child has ever had a reaction to any antibiotic, check with your doctor that your child can have amoxicillin before giving it.
Amoxicillin (sometimes spelt amoxycillin)
Common brands: Amoxil®, Amix®, Amoram®, Amoxident®, Galenamox®, Rimoxallin®
It is important that your child takes this medicine in the way that your doctor has told you to so that it kills the harmful bacteria and gets rid of their infection.
Amoxicillin is usually given three times a day. This should be first thing in the morning, early afternoon and at bedtime. Ideally, these times should be at least 4 hours apart.
Your doctor will work out the amount of amoxicillin (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.
It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.
Amoxicillin can be taken with or without food.
Capsules should be swallowed whole with a glass of water, milk or squash (but not juice). Your child should not chew the capsules.
Liquid medicine: Shake the medicine well. Measure out the right amount using an oral syringe or a medicine spoon. You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount. You can also dilute the right amount of medicine (measured with a spoon) in a small amount of water or milk. Make sure your child takes it all straight away.
Your child should start to get better after taking the medicine for 2 days. It is important that they take the whole course of the medicine that has been prescribed. Do not stop early.
Never give a double dose of amoxicillin.
Amoxicillin is normally a safe drug. It is unlikely to cause any problems if you give an extra dose by mistake.
If you think you may have given your child too much amoxicillin, contact your doctor or local NHS services (111 in England and Scotland; 0845 4647 in Wales). Have the medicine container or packet with you if you telephone for advice.
We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side-effects).
Side-effects are rare with amoxicillin and do not usually last for long. They will get better after a day or two as your child’s body gets used to the medicine, and should go away when the treatment course is finished.
If your child gets a skin rash or itching, is short of breath or is wheezing, or their face, lips or tongue start to swell, they may be allergic to amoxicillin. Take your child to hospital or call an ambulance straight away.
There may, sometimes, be other side-effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned, contact your doctor. You can report any suspected side-effects to a UK safety scheme at http://www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor for advice.
Amoxicillin is a type of antibiotic called penicillin. Your child should not have amoxicillin if they are allergic to any penicillin antibiotic. Make sure you tell your doctor if your child has ever shown any signs of penicillin allergy.
Your child’s doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about amoxicillin and about other medicines used to treat infections.
Version 2.1, January 2014 (October 2014). © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild 2011, all rights reserved. Reviewed by: January 2017.
The primary source for the information in this leaflet is the British National Formulary for Children. For details on any other sources used for this leaflet, please contact us through our website, www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk
We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.