As a treatment for bacterial skin infections, urinary tract infections, sinusitis, pneumonia, or bronchitis, your doctor may recommend Augmentin or generic Amoxicillin/Clavulanate. This combination Rx drug is a broad spectrum antibiotic from the family of penicillins and will only be prescribed if your infection is, or strongly suspected to be, caused by bacteria as Augmentin will not treat fungal or viral infections. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Amoxicillin will work by binding to certain enzymes that are essential for the bacteria to build their cell walls so they are able to grow and multiply. This interference causes the cell wall to leak and allow harmful substances in and its contents to seep out so the bacteria cannot grow and they die.
Clavulanate is a beta-lactamase inhibitor and works as a back-up for Amoxicillin in case there are cells producing beta-lactamase from penicillin-resistant bacteria. It will irreversibly bind to the beta-lactamase enzymes and inhibit their action so Amoxicillin is able to go in and kill the bacteria.
Your skin is your largest organ and works as a barrier to protect against bacterial infections. A scratch or any small break in your skin puts you at risk for the normal bacteria that live on your skin to enter and cause an infection. This risk is increased if your immune system is impaired in any way by medical conditions such as diabetes or HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). The most common bacteria to cause a skin infection are Staphylococcus (Staph) and Streptococcus (Strep or Strept). Bacterial skin infections include cellulitis, folliculitis, impetigo, and skin abscesses.
Ask your doctor if Augmentin is safe to take if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or are breast feeding. Discuss other medical conditions or allergies with your doctor and list any Rx medications you currently take or use, include OTC meds, herbal remedies, and vitamin or dietary supplements to be certain Augmentin is the right prescription for you.
You should use a back-up contraceptive while taking Augmentin, such as a condom, due to a possible decrease in the effectiveness of the birth control pill. Take all of the Augmentin as prescribed to avoid a possible drug resistance, even if you feel better. If you have diabetes, tell lab personnel before undergoing glucose testing as Augmentin may alter the results. Keep Augmentin and all other medications out of children’s reach and never share meds with anyone.
What is bacterial resistance? This can occur for a couple of reasons, like taking prescription antibiotics for a viral infection, such as for a cold or the flu, and not taking the full Rx as prescribed. If you stop too early there can still be bacteria remaining and they will learn how to change in order to resist the effects of the antibiotic you took.