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Amoxicillin

What is amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin (brand names: Amoxil®, Amoxi-Tabs®, Amoxi-Drop®, Bimox®, Moxatag®, Novamoxin®) is an aminopenicillin antibiotic used to treat certain bacterial infections. Most commonly it is used to treat skin, respiratory, and urinary tract infections.

Its use in cats and dogs to treat certain bacterial infections and at certain doses, as well as use in ferrets, birds, and reptiles is ‘off label’ or ‘extra label’. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully as their directions may be significantly different from those on the label.

 

How is amoxicillin given?

Amoxicillin is given by mouth in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid suspension. It can be given with or without food, however, if vomiting occurs when dosed on an empty stomach, give future doses with food. Give the medication for the entire prescribed duration unless otherwise directed. Measure liquid forms carefully, and shake well before administering.

This medication will take effect quickly, in about 1 to 2 hours. While effects may not be noted outwardly, gradual improvements are usually noticeable after a few days.

 

What if I miss giving my pet the medication?

If you miss a dose, give it when you remember, but if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and give it at the next scheduled time, and return to the regular dosing schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.

 

Are there any potential side effects?

Common side effects include gastrointestinal effects such as lack of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Serious side effects include allergic reaction characterized by skin rash, fever, facial swelling, or difficulty breathing, incoordination while walking, or prolonged lack of appetite (in cats).

This short-acting medication should stop working within 24 hours, although effects can be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease.

 

Are there any risk factors for this medication?

Amoxicillin should not be used in pets that are allergic to it or other penicillins, cephalosporins, or other beta-lactam antibiotics. Do not use in rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, hamsters, or other small mammals. Do not give by mouth to pets with a blood infection, shock, or other grave illnesses, is it will likely be ineffective. Use cautiously in pregnant or lactating pets, although use of this medication is likely safe.

 

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

The following medications should be used with caution when given with amoxicillin: bacteriostatic antimicrobials, methotrexate, probenecid, or warfarin. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

Amoxicillin may also interact with certain urine glucose tests and cause false positive results.

 

Is there any monitoring that needs to be done with this medication?

There is no specific monitoring that needs to be done while your pet is taking this medication. Your veterinarian may monitor your pet to be sure that the medication is working.

 

How do I store amoxicillin?

Capsules, tablets, and powders should be stored at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C) in a tight container and protected from moisture. The liquid suspension is best stored in the refrigerator, although it is not required. Discard unused portions of the liquid after 14 days.

 

What should I do in case of emergency?

If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

This client information sheet is based on material written by: Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM, MPH

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