Dentists often prescribe ampicillin before a dental procedure for people who are at risk for endocarditis , an infection in the lining of the heart. Ampicillin , a penicillin – like drug, is an antibiotic that belongs to a class of drugs known as aminopenicillins. It kills bacteria by preventing them from making the protein needed to build their cell walls. Ampicillin was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the brand name Ominpen in 1965 and was originally manufactured by Wyeth Ayerst.
Pregnancy and Ampicillin: Ampicillin is an FDA pregnancy category B drug, which means that animal studies indicate there is no risk to a fetus, but there are no human studies that show it is safe for an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant before taking this medicine.
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Ampicillin is safe for mothers to take while breastfeeding . Still, let your doctor know if you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed while taking it.
Ampicillin Dosage: Ampicillin comes in 250 milligrams (mg) and 500 mg tablets, 125 mg/5 ml or 250 mg/5 ml syrup, and a solution that can be given intravenously or injected into a thigh muscle, hip and arm. How much ampicillin your doctor prescribes and how long you take it depends on your age, kidney function, and the type of bacteria causing the infection.
For general bacterial infections, your doctor may prescribe 250 mg to 500 mg every six hours for up to 14 days. Make sure you carry the full amount on your prescription. Complete all medication, even if you are feeling better or the infection seems to clear up. (Not feeling sick doesn’t mean the infection is completely gone.)
If you stop taking ampicillin before completing the entire prescribed amount, the infection may come back and may be even more difficult to treat than the first time. You should always take ampicillin one hour before or two hours after meals.
What to do if an Ampicillin Overdose Occurs: If you suspect an overdose, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. Call 911 if someone has collapsed or is not breathing from a possible severe allergic reaction to ampicillin .
Ampicillin Side Effects: Ampicillin oral capsuledoes not cause drowsiness, but it can cause other side effects.
Most Common Side Effects: The most common side effects of oral ampicillin capsule can include:
If these effects are mild, they may disappear within a few days or a few weeks. If they are more severe or do not go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Serious Side Effects: Call your doctor right away if you experience serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you are having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:
Allergic reactions. Symptoms can include:
- Flu-like symptoms such as fever and body aches
- Painful red or purple rash that spreads
- Blisters that can lead to skin breakage
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Diarrhea that lasts until after you stop taking the drug. Symptoms can include: