Ampicillin is a penicillin-based antibiotic that works to combat internal bacterial infections. Ampicillin capsules work to destroy the protective walls that bacteria create inside your body and stop new bacteria from forming. Ampicillin is a highly effective antibiotic and is one of the most prescribed medications by doctors.
Ampicillin may also be marketed as: Principen, Totacillin, Omnipen-N, Generic Ampicillin, Polycillin, Principen.
Ampicillin is an antibiotic in the penicillin group of drugs. It fights bacteria in your body. Ampicillin is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria, such as ear infections, bladder infections, pneumonia, gonorrhea, and E. coli or salmonella infections.
Use Ampicillin as directed by your doctor.
How to take
Take Ampicillin by mouth at least 30 minutes before or 2 hours after eating, with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 ml). Take Ampicillin on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it, and take it for as long as your doctor instructs you. Do not take less or more of your instructed dosage. Taking Ampicillin at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
To clear up your infection completely, use Ampicillin for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Ampicillin.
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
- Inflammation and redness of the tongue;
- Irritation of mouth or throat;
- Mild diarrhea; nausea;
- Second infection;
Seek immediate medical attention if any of these serious side effects occur:
- Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue);
- Bloody stools;
- Severe diarrhea;
- Stomach pain/cramps;
- Vaginal irritation or discharge.
If you have any questions about Ampicillin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Ampicillin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people. If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- If you are allergic to any ingredient in Ampicillin or any other penicillin antibiotic (e.g., amoxicillin).
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a stomach infection, diarrhea, or mononucleosis (“mono”)
- if you have had a severe allergic reaction (e.g. severe rash, hives, breathing difficulties, dizziness) to a cephalosporin antibiotic (e.g. cephalexin) or other beta-lactam antibiotic (e.g. imipenem)
Some medical conditions may interact with Ampicillin if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. Be sure to talk to your doctor about this before taking Ampicillin.
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
- Allopurinol (Zyloprim);
- Methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall);
- Probenecid (Benemid);
- A sulfa drug (such as Bactrim or Septra); or
- A tetracycline antibiotic such as demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), or tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Ampicillin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without first telling your doctor.
If you miss a dose of Ampicillin and are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Store Ampicillin at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store it away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store it in the bathroom. Keep it in a tight, light-resistant container. Keep Ampicillin out of the reach of children and away from pets.