Augmentin is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. Augmentin is composed of two chemicals, amoxicillin and clavulanate, which work in synergy to treat ear infections, sinus infection, urinary tract infection (UTI), pneumonia, skin infections and lower respiratory tract infections. It is approved for use in the pediatric and adult population. Augmentin is a branded (trade) name of the GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical company. The generic name of Augmentin is amoxicillin-clavulanate.
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Composition of Augmentin
Amoxicillin, one of the antibiotics in Augementin, is marketed to be used alone as a mono-therapy and is a good choice for certain bacterial infections. However, some forms of bacteria have evolved and grown resistant to amoxicillin, requiring a need for different antibiotics. Clavulanate, when added to amoxicillin, inhibits the resistant process and make amoxicillin more effective against bacteria.
When new drugs are developed, the FDA grants the developer some years of exclusive marketing and production. When the years expire, the drug is considered to have lost its patent. At that point, the FDA grants permission to other pharmaceutical manufacturers to make the generic form of the drug. Both generic and brand names drugs are generally considered to be equally efficacious. However, generic drugs are usually cheaper since their FDA approval process is shorter and less expensive. Generic forms of drugs such as amoxicillin/clavulanate must be FDA approved before entering the marketplace.
Since Augmentin is composed of amoxicillin and clavulanate, all generic forms of it are supposed to have the same components in the same strength and ratio to be considered a generically equivalent drug. However, a July 2009 Italian report published in the "British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology" found that two generic forms of amoxicillin were not bioequivalent to brand-name amoxicillin. Talk to your doctor to see if he has a reason for preferring to prescribe a brand-name rather than a generic version.
GlaxoSmithKline markets Augmentin in suspension, coated tablets, chewable tablets and oral tablets. Several other manufacturers make generic Augmentin in the same formulations. Manufacturers of generic Augmentin drug have an option of giving their product a unique name or using the common name of amoxicillin/clavulanate on their product packaging. Pharmaceutical manufacturers of generic Augmentin in the United States include Westward (Amoclan), Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, Apotex, Sandoz, Woodhardt, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Par Pharmaceuticals.
Brand and generic Augmentin have a similar side effect profile. The most common side effect of Augmentin brand and generic drug is gastrointestinal issues, including nausea, which affects around 2.5 percent of people taking the drug, vomiting and diarrhea, which affects around 3.4 percent, according to a January 2004 "Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.". Other side effects include rash, yeast infections, liver toxicity, hives, itching, low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and difficulty breathing. People with a known penicillin allergy should not take this drug, because of the similarity between penicillin and ampicillin and the risk of cross-reaction.