Prescription medications often come in a variety of different formulations and doses, particularly compared from one country to the next. One such medication, Augmentin, is made by GlaxoSmithKline and is a combination of two different antibiotics. This antibiotic is used worldwide and is safe for most patients, though some side effects have been observed.
Augmentin 625 mg is a capsule, which is contains a combination of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium. The 625 mg is an indication as to the quantity of the two medications contained in each capsule; these capsules contain 500 mg of amoxicillin and 125 mg of clavulanate potassium, Electronic Medicines Compendium reports. The 625 mg capsule is sold in the United Kingdom, though other formulations of Augmentin can be purchased in the United States and other countries.
Augmentin is used to treat several different kinds of bacterial infections. It can be used to treat lower respiratory infections caused by H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis, RxList.com explains. It can also be used to treat inner ear and sinus infections caused by these bacteria. In addition, this antibiotic combination can effectively treat S. aureus, E. coli and Klebsiella infections of the skin and urinary tract.
Both amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium work by destroying the cell wall of susceptible bacteria. Amoxicillin, the University of Michigan notes, blocks a biochemical process known as crosslinking of the peptidoglycan layer, which means that this antibiotic destabilizes bacterial cell walls, preventing bacteria from growing. The clavulanate potassium blocks the action of an enzyme, which can make bacteria resistant to the effects of amoxicillin and other antibiotics; its function is to enhance the antimicrobial activity of amoxicillin.
Adults and children who weigh more than 88 lb. should take a maximum of three Augmentin 625 mg tablets per day, the Electronic Medicines Compendium states. For children smaller than 88 lb., the daily dose must be adjusted downward to account for the reduced body mass; between 11 and 34 mg of Augmentin per pound of body weight should be given each day. The pills may need to be broken into smaller pieces to accomplish this.
The most common side effects that occur from taking Augmentin include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Oral candidiasis, which causes a white film of the Candida fungi to appear in the mouth and on the tongue, is also common. Other side effects include headache, dizziness, indigestion and a decrease in the number of white blood cells and platelets, resulting in a weakened immune system and easy bleeding/bruising.