Vitamin C & Amoxicillin

Capsule
Tell your doctor which supplements you take before starting a new medication. (Image: Buba1955/iStock/Getty Images)

Vitamin C is an immune system booster that may help you ward off both bacterial and viral infections, while amoxicillin is an antibiotic used to treat infections that are caused by bacteria. Amoxicillin interacts with numerous vitamin supplements, so tell your doctor which you use before filling your prescription. Likewise, vitamin C poses risks for a host of drug interactions.

Amoxicillin Interactions

Amoxicillin interacts with numerous vitamin supplements. Vitamin C is not flagged for interactions with this antibiotic, according to Drugs.com, though this does not mean that the possibility for interactions is nonexistent. Always consult a doctor before combining a supplement and a medication. Amoxicillin does interact with vitamins B-6, B-12, biotin, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin K and potassium, according to “The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interaction Guide,” by George T. Grossberg and Barry Fox.

Vitamin C Interactions

Vitamin C may interact with many medicines, but amoxicillin is not flagged as one of them by MedlinePlus. Supplemental vitamin C interacts with aluminum found in antacids, estrogens, fluphenazine, cancer medicines, HIV/AIDS medicines, statins used to lower cholesterol, niacin and warfarin. It also inteacts with niacin, acetaminophen, aspirin, nicardipine, choline magnesium trisalicylate, nifedipine and salsalate. To be on the safe side, however, tell your doctor if you take supplemental vitamin C if she prescribes amoxicillin.

Vitamin C and Viruses

Vitamin C is boosts your immune system by increasing production of antibodies and infection-fighting white blood cells. One antibody it increases in your body is interferon. This antibody coats cell surfaces and prevents viruses from entering them. This vitamin also is a powerful antioxidant that protects host cells against oxidiative stress that is caused by infections, notes a November 2007 “Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine” scientific review.

Vitamin C and Bacteria

Vitamin C may increase resistance to bacterial as well as viral infections, according to Harri Hemilä and Pekka Louhiala, authors of the “Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine” scientific review. That means it may provide benefits when it comes to preventing and treating pneumonia, though more research is needed, the authors note. Being deficient in this vitamin appears to increase your risk for pneumonia, however, so therapeutic vitamin C supplementation may be a good way to ward off this illness among people who are prone to this illness and have low levels of this vitamin, according to a January 2007 “Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews” scientific review.

Amoxicillin, Bacteria and Viruses

Amoxicillin can be used to treat bacterial, but not viral infections. This drug works by halting the growth of the bacteria that is making you ill, whether it’s with pneumonia, bronchitis, an ear infection, a throat infection, a skin infection or an infection in your ears or nose. Always tell your doctor if you are taking vitamin supplements before you begin using your prescription, even if it is not clearly contraindicated, advise the experts at PubMed Health.

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