This leaflet is about the use of the antibiotic co-amoxiclav 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 co-amoxiclav before giving it.
Common brands: Augmentin®, Augmentin-Duo®
Co-amoxiclav contains two medicines: amoxicillin, which is an antibiotic, and clavulanic acid, which helps the amoxicillin to work better.
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.
Augmentin and Augmentin-Duo contain aspartame.
Co-amoxiclav is usually given three times a day. This should be first thing in the morning, early afternoon (or after school) and at bedtime. Ideally, these times are at least 4 hours apart.
Give the medicine at about the same times each day so that this becomes part of your child’s daily routine, which will help you to remember.
Your doctor will work out the amount of co-amoxiclav (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.
This medicine works best when the stomach is empty, so try to give it to your child ½–1 hour before they eat. However, if your child has an upset stomach, you can give it with a small amount of food.
Tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water, milk or juice. Your child should not chew the tablets.
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.
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.
If your child is sick again, seek advice from your GP, pharmacist or hospital. They will decide what to do based on your child’s condition and the specific medicine involved.
You are unlikely to do any harm if you give an extra dose of co-amoxiclav by mistake.
If you are concerned that you may have given your child too much co-amoxiclav, contact your doctor or local NHS services (111 in parts of England; 0845 4647 in parts of England and Wales; 08454 24 24 24 in Scotland) or take your child to hospital. 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).
Co-amoxiclav is generally a safe drug. However, it sometimes has serious side effects.
If your child gets a skin rash, itching or hives, has problems breathing or seems short of breath or is wheezing, or if their face, throat, lips or tongue start to swell, they may be allergic to co-amoxiclav. Take them to hospital or call an ambulance straight away.
Contact your doctor for advice if your child develops any of these symptoms. Do not give any more co-amoxiclav.
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.
Co-amoxiclav contains amoxicillin, which 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.
If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor for advice.
Your child’s doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about co-amoxiclav and about other medicines used to treat infections.
Version 2, January 2014. © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild 2011, all rights reserved. Reviewed by: January 2014.
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.