Alphamox general information
What is Alphamox used for?
Many common infections are caused by a handful of bacteria, but other bacteria may not be so common and can be more difficult to treat. If any of these pathogenic bacteria get the chance to become overgrown in various parts of our body, they can be harmful, and depending on where the infection takes hold, it can make you quite unwell. Alphamox capsules 500mg are a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which means that they can be used to treat most common bacterial infections, and they are suitable for adults and children. These include infections caused by bacteria that enter the body through inhalation, if someone who is already infected coughs or sneezes near you, through cuts on the skin, surgery, or a wound that is not healing. Bacteria can invade many parts of the body resulting in superficial skin infections or an internal infection of the lungs and respiratory tract, the organs, the genitourinary system, blood and bone.
Many symptoms of a bacterial infection are caused by the immune system attacking the invading pathogen. These include fever, feeling unwell and tired, headache, nausea, inflammation (redness, swelling and pain). Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, in the armpits and in the groin are further signs that the immune system is actively fighting the infection.
These infections include the chest, throat, ear and sinuses. Bacterial infections of the upper respiratory tract include pharyngitis (inflammation of the pharynx at the back of the throat), tonsillitis (infection of the tonsils, which are patches of lymph node tissue at the back of the throat), sinusitis (infection of the sinuses or nasal passages) otitis media (infection of the middle ear). Lower respiratory tract infections include bronchitis (infection of the bronchioles or airways), and pneumonia and emphysema (infections of the lungs).
Skin and soft tissue infections
Cellulitis is an infection that begins when the skin is broken, and therefore, the bacteria can invade the deeper layers of the skin and underlying soft tissue, causing inflammation and swelling, which makes you feel generally unwell. It can spread rapidly and become life-threatening if not treated. Impetigo is a superficial skin infection causing sores that usually begin with small blisters that break and weep, and these are very contagious so that the infection is easily spread. A boil (furunculus) is an infection around a hair follicle that causes a pus-filled swelling; a large boil is called an abscess.
Joint and dental infections
Dental infections include periodontitis, which is an infection of the gum causing inflammation, and periodontal abscess, which is a painful condition that is caused by the build-up of pus in the tissues surrounding a tooth as a result of infection. Dental extraction can result in bacteria getting into the blood, known as bacteraemia, with increased risk of blood poisoning or sepsis, which is the body’s response to the bacteria. This can also cause joint infection following a hip replacement.
Urinary tract infections
Acute, uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections include cystitis (infection of the bladder) and urethritis (infection of the urethra, the tube leading out from the bladder). Urethritis and gonorrhoea are sexually transmitted diseases caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoea.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria transmitted through food or direct contact with the mouth. It can live in the digestive system without causing any problems for many years but it can also damage the lining of the stomach, which in response, produces more stomach acid, resulting in the formation of peptic ulcers. Once diagnosed, H. pylori can be eradicated from your system using Alphamox capsules 500mg in combination with other antibiotics, and a medicine (proton pump inhibitor) to lower stomach acid and treat peptic ulcers (gastric and duodenal) allowing them to heal.
Prophylaxis for endocarditis
Bacterial endocarditis, an infection of the endocardium (lining of the heart and heart valves), is caused by infection with various common bacteria. These bacteria enter through another part of the body such as the mouth or through a wound such as following dental extraction. The bacteria then travel in the bloodstream before attaching the endocardium, causing damage to the heart. Alphamox capsules 500mg are used as prophylaxis to prevent bacterial endocarditis in those at risk.
Lyme disease or borreliosis is an infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia, transmitted by a bite from the black-legged tick or deer tick and is the most common tick-borne infection in both North America and Europe. Symptoms of Lyme disease include erythema migrans, a circular spreading rash, flu-like symptoms, joint pain, and neurological problems.
How does Alphamox work?
Alphamox capsules 500mg contain amoxicillin, which is an antibiotic similar to penicillin and belongs to the beta-lactam group of antibiotics. Amoxicillin in Alphamox capsules 500mg contains a structure called the beta-lactam ring, which interferes with the formation of the bacterial cell wall in susceptible bacteria. This leads to the weakening and destruction of the bacterial cell, which kills the bacteria. A susceptible bacteria means that the antibiotic blocks its growth.
Alphamox capsules 500mg are effective against most common bacterial infections caused by streptococci, staphylococci and pneumococci, but it is also effective against other bacteria for certain infections such as gonococcus. For some infections another antibiotic is needed as well. Amoxicillin is effective against a wider range of bacteria compared with penicillin.
However, amoxicillin can be inactivated by an enzyme called beta-lactamase, produced by resistant bacteria, such as some staphylococci, which destroys its beta-lactam ring and makes those bacteria resistant to amoxicillin. For this reason, amoxicillin is often combined with an antibiotic, such as clavulanic acid, that is a beta-lactamase inhibitor and can inactivate bacterial beta-lactamase enzymes.
What does Alphamox contain?
Alphamox capsules 500mg contain the active ingredient amoxicillin trihydrate, a beta-lactam antibiotic similar to penicillin, which is used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections. They also contain purified talc, colloidal anhydrous silica, magnesium stearate, sodium starch glycollate, gelatin, yellow iron oxide, titanium dioxide, brilliant blue.
What are the side effects of Alphamox?
Most medications have some side effects, but they are not experienced by everyone. Some side effects are commonly experienced when taking Alphamox, but others are not so common, and you should discuss any problems or concerns with your primary care physician.
Common side effects when taking Alphamox include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, skin rash, urticaria (hives) candidiasis (oral and vaginal thrush).
Allergic reaction to penicillin
If you are allergic to penicillin-like antibiotics such Alphamox capsules 500mg, you may develop a hypersensitivity reaction, which is an allergic reaction that ranges from a mild to severe skin reaction, with symptoms like rash, itching, blotchy red patches, hives (urticaria), dermatitis. A more serious reaction and potentially life-threatening reaction has symptoms including swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body, shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble breathing that may need medical intervention.
When should Alphamox not be used?
Have a talk with your primary healthcare physician before taking Alphamox so that you have a full understanding of what this medicine is for and how to use it. There are some reasons for not taking a medication; these are called contraindications, and for Alphamox you should consider the following before taking Alphamox:
- Have you ever had an unusual reaction or an allergy when taking Alphamox or any other beta-lactam antibiotics, including cephalosporins?
- Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Do you have any problems with your kidneys?
- Do you have glandular fever?
What medications interact with Alphamox?
Some medicines interact with Alphamox and may affect the way it works or are affected by Alphamox or increase side effects; you should discuss possible interactions with your primary care physician. These may include including probenecid and allopurinol (for gout), oral contraceptives (as these may be less effective due to amoxicillin), tetracycline antibiotics.
If other medications may interact with Alphamox, your doctor will discuss these with you.
How should Alphamox be taken and for how long?
You should take your Alphamox capsules 500mg swallowed whole, with a glass of water, with or without food. The dose you take and how often depends on what you are being treated for and your doctor's recommendation, usually 1 capsule 1-3 times a day, for up to 5-10 days. For severe or recurrent infections, your doctor may increase your dose, and for some infections, you will be given a higher dose for a shorter time. Always finish your course of Alphamox capsules even if you feel better otherwise, the infection may not clear up completely or your symptoms may return; also, you run the risk of the bacteria causing your infection developing resistance to Alphamox.
Missed dose of Alphamox
If you miss a dose of Alphamox capsules 500mg take it as soon as you remember, unless it is time to take the next dose, then skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose.
How should Alphamox be stored?
You should store your Alphamox capsules 500mg below 25°C in a cool dry place.