Ampicillin: Uses, How it works, and Side Effects

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Ampicillin is one of the antibiotics on the market today. It is used to treat and prevent bacterial infection and it is wise to know how to use this antibiotic properly so as to not incur some unfavorable side effects. Although there are some common side effects that come with taking ampicillin.

Read on to learn how to use ampicillin, how it works in the body, the side effects related to it, and also what to do when you take an overdose of ampicillin.


Here is a list of what you should expect in this post:

What is Ampicillin?

Ampicillin is a prescription antibiotic used to prevent and treat a number of bacterial infections, such as respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, meningitis. It is used by mouth, and by injection into a muscle.

How does Ampicillin work?

Ampicillin is a type of antibiotic called penicillin. It works by interfering with the ability of bacteria to form cell walls. Ampicillin allows holes to appear in the bacterial cell walls and this kills the bacteria causing the infection. Ampicillin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which means it kills a wide variety of different types of bacteria.


To make sure the bacteria causing an infection are susceptible to ampicillin your doctor may take a tissue sample, for example, a swab from the throat, or a urine or sputum sample.

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What are the uses of Ampicillin?

 Ampicillin is a penicillin-type antibiotic. It is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. These infections include ear infections, chest infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections. It may also be used to prevent group B streptococcal in newborns.

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How should I take Ampicillin?

Before you take ampicillin, follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use. Ampicillin can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using non-hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy, and also a breastfeeding mother should not take ampicillin.

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Here are the steps you should follow while taking this medication:

What happens when I miss a dose of Ampicillin?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at a time.

What happens when I take an overdose of Ampicillin?

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. Symptoms of overdose may include severe vomiting, persistent diarrhea, unusual change in the amount of urine, or seizures.

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Can I take Ampicillin with other drugs?

Taking an ampicillin oral capsule with other medications, herbs, vitamins might change the way the drugs works, and it can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. To avoid this, before using the medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the prescriptions, nonprescription and herbal products you may use especially tetracyclines, methotrexate, probenecid, and allopurinol.

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This document does not contain all the possible interactions ampicillin has with other medications. Therefore, before using ampicillin, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.

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What precautions should I follow before taking Ampicillin?

There are some things you should take note of before taking ampicillin so that you do not have to experience severe problems after taking it. They are:

  • Before taking ampicillin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it, or to penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics; or if you have any other allergies.
  • Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, or some types of viral infections.
  • The function of the kidney declines as one grows older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, elderly people may be more sensitive to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking ampicillin, call your doctor.
  • Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
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What side effects can ampicillin cause?

Common side effects:

  • Take this medicine with a full glass of water.
  • Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon). The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
  • Take the antibiotic on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before or 2 hours after a meal.
  • For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.
  • Continue to take this medication until the full-prescribed amount is finished even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a reoccurrence of the infection. If you use this medicine long-term, your kidney function, liver function, and blood cells may need to be checked.
  • Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
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  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Mouth\tongue sores

Serious side effects:

If you experience any serious side effects, call your doctor right away. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:


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  • Dark urine
  • Persistent vomiting or nausea
  • Stomach\abdominal pain
  • Yellowing eyes or skin
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea that is watery or bloody
  • Blisters

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Important information

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