Ampicillin is the generic name for the brand name prescription medication Omnipen, Principen or Totacillin. Ampicillin is an antibiotic that is the penicillin classification. This drug is used to kill bacteria, treat a variety of infections such as intestinal (food poisoning), ear infections, pneumonia, tonsillitis, strep throat, bronchitis, gonorrhea or urinary tract infections. Ampicillin can also be used to treat other conditions that are not listed here.
There are some important things you should know about ampicillin. The first, be sure to complete the entire course of treatment. Symptoms of the condition for which you are taking ampicillin may get better or go away before all of the medication is completed. This is NO indicator that the condition is completely cured. In order to wipe out any bacteria or infection completely ALL of the prescribed medication must be administered. Don’t crush, open or chew capsules, they need to be swallowed whole. Ampicillin may decrease oral birth control. If you do not wish to become pregnant, use a back-up method of birth control while taking ampicillin.
People who have had an allergic reaction to another antibiotic in the penicillin family or to a cephalosporin should not take ampicillin. Sometimes a physician will prescribe ampicillin and monitor the patient, when an allergy is present. If you have a stomach or gastrointestinal disease, infectious mononucleosis or kidney disease you may not be able to take this medication because of a higher risk of side effects. Diabetes patients, who are taking ampicillin, may have false positive glucose urine tests.
The US FDA categorizes drugs based on safety for pregnant women. Ampicillin is categorized as B. This indicates that this drug is not EXPECTED to cause harm to an unborn child, but you should discuss all risk factors with your doctor before taking this medication if you are expecting. Ampicillin can pass through breast milk to an infant. Do not take ampicillin if you are nursing; discuss the safety with the pediatrician and your physician first.
Ampicillin must be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop this medication before you have finished the entire amount. Ampicillin comes in a liquid for children and pills/capsules for adults. Swallow pills/capsules whole and measure liquids carefully using a measuring spoon/device from your pharmacist. Ampicillin may cause diarrhea. The optimum dosage is spaced over the day, to keep a constant level of the drug in the body. Liquid suspensions need to be stored in the refrigerator, capsules can be kept at room temperature.
If a dose is missed, take the dose as soon as you realize. If it is close to the next scheduled dose, do not double up, unless your doctor approves this.
An ampicillin overdose presents as pain or twitching, pain in the extremities, loss of feeling in the extremities, muscle spasms, seizures, agitation, confusion or coma. If you suspect an overdose, get medical help immediately.
Avoid taking alcohol with ampicillin, as it may increase the chances of irritiating the gastrointestinal system. Mild side effects for this medication may be vaginal yeast infection, thrush (white patches on the tongue), black tongue or sore mouth, mild nausea, diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain. A severe reaction indicates an allergy which may be life-threatening, seek emergency medical intervention. Allergic reaction presents as shortness of breath, hives, swelling of lips, throat, face or tongue, fainting or rash. If you experience seizures, severe diarrheas, stomachache with cramps or atypical bruising or bleeding, seek emergency medication attention.
Ampicillin can interact with other drugs and the effectiveness of ampicillin may be impacted. If you take these any of these drugs: cholestyramine, colestipol, erythromycin, minocycline, doxycycline or any other antibiotic, bith control pills, methotrexate, allopurinol, or probenecid, tell your doctor before taking ampicillin. These drugs can either increase the effectiveness or decrease the effectiveness of ampicillin or as in the case of birth control pills the ampicillin decreases the effectiveness of that drug.
For more information, consult your pharmacist.
Ampicillin trihydrate is a semisynthetic penicillin derived from the basic penicillin nucleus, 6-aminopenicillanic acid. Ampicillin is designated chemically as (2S, 5R, 6R)-6-[(8)-2-Amino-2-phenylacetamido]-3,3-dimethyl-t-oxo-4-thia-1- azabicyclo[3.2.0] heptane-2-carboxylic acid. The chemical formula is C16H19N3O4S•3H2O and its molecular weight is 403.45. PRINCIPEN Capsules (Ampicillin Capsules USP) for oral administration provide ampicillin trihydrate equivalent to 250 mg and 500 mg ampicillin.
Inactive ingredients: black iron oxide, gelatin, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #3, FD&C Red #40, lactose monohydrate, silica gel, and titanium dioxide.
PRINCIPEN for Oral Suspension (Ampicillin for oral suspension USP) provide, after constitution, ampicillin trihydrate equivalent to 125 mg and 250 mg ampicillin per 5 mL.
Inactive ingredients: antifoam AF emulsion, Atmos 300, colloidal silicon dioxide, FD&C Red #40, lecithin, natural and artificial flavors, sucrose, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate, and vanillin.
Ampicillin has the following structural formula: