Amoxicillin (INN), formerly amoxycillin (BAN), tormoxin (in India), amoxycillin (cilamox) in Australia, abbreviated amox, is a moderate-spectrum, bacteriolytic, 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 β-lactam antibiotics. It is also a treatment for cystic acne.
Amoxicillin is susceptible to degradation by β-lactamase-producing bacteria, which are resistant to a broad spectrum of β-lactam antibiotics, such as penicillin. For this reason, it is often combined with clavulanic acid, a β-lactamase inhibitor, and marketed under one name. This increases effectiveness by reducing its susceptibility to β-lactamase resistance.
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 walls of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
Amoxicillin in trihydrate form is available as capsules, chewable and dispersible tablets plus syrup and pediatric suspension for oral use, and as the sodium salt for intravenous administration (although the IV formulation is not available in the United States). It is one of the most common antibiotics prescribed for children, and the liquid forms are helpful where the patient might find it difficult to take tablets or capsules. It has two ionizable groups in the physiological range (the amino group in alpha-position to the amide carbonil group and the carboxyl group). A once-daily dosing form (Moxatag) was approved by the American FDA in January 2008.
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