Amoxicillin (INN) or amoxycillin (former BAN) is a moderate-spectrum β-lactam antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections caused by susceptible microorganisms. It is usually the drug of choice within the class because it is better absorbed, following oral administration, than other beta-lactam antibiotics. Amoxicillin is susceptible to degradation by β-lactamase-producing bacteria, and so may be given with Clavulanic acid to increase its susceptability (see below). It is currently marketed by GlaxoSmithKline under the trade name Amoxil®. more...
Mode of action
Amoxicillin acts by inhibiting the synthesis of bacterial cell walls. It inhibits cross-linkage between the linear peptidoglycan polymer chains that make up a major component of the cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria.
Amoxicillin is a moderate-spectrum antibiotic active against a wide range of Gram-positive, and a limited range of Gram-negative organisms. Some examples of susceptible and resistant organisms, from the Amoxil® Approved Product Information (GSK, 2003), are listed below.
Susceptible Gram-positive organisms
Streptococcus spp., Diplococcus pneumoniae, non β-lactamase-producing Staphylococcus spp., and Streptococcus faecalis.
Susceptible Gram-negative organisms
Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Neisseria meningitidis, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis and Salmonella spp.
Penicillinase producing organisms, particularly penicillinase producing Staphylococcus spp. Penicillinase-producing N. gonorrhoeae and H. influenzae are also resistant
All strains of Pseudomonas spp., Klebsiella spp., Enterobacter spp., indole-positive Proteus spp., Serratia marcescens, and Citrobacter spp. are resistant.
The incidence of β-lactamase-producing resistant organisms, including E. coli, appears to be increasing.
Doubling the routinely given concentration (in pediatrics) of amoxicillin has been shown to eradicate intermediately resistant organisms (Red Book, 2003 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases, American Academy of Pediatrics).
Amoxicillin in trihydrate form is avaialable as capsules or syrup for oral use, and as the sodium salt for intravenous administration.
Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid
Amoxicillin (in either trihydrate or sodium salt forms) may be combined with Clavulanic acid (as potassium clavulanate), a β-lactamase inhibitor, to increase the spectrum of action against Gram-negative organisms, and to overcome bacterial antibiotic resistance mediated through β-lactamase production. This formulation is referred to as Co-amoxiclav (British Approved Name), but more commonly by proprietary names such as Augmentin® and Clamoxyl®.
The patent for amoxicillin has expired. Thus amoxicillin is marketed under many trade names including: Actimoxi®, Amoxibiotic®, Amoxicilina®, Pamoxicillin®, Lamoxy®, Ospamox®, Polymox®, Trimox®, Tolodina®, Wymox® and Zimox®.
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