Many things come to your mind when the doctor gives you a new medication. That’s because there are often many rules when taking medication. These include the timing, the number of pills, whether it has something to do with meals, etc.
Such a question is, ‘can you take amoxicillin on an empty stomach?’ So if you’re wondering about it, then you’re not alone. The quick answer to this question is that it really doesn’t matter. Amoxicillin can be taken on a full or an empty stomach. However, if you experience nausea, you might opt to take it with food.
With that being said, let’s dig a bit deeper into this.
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Can You Take Amoxicillin on an Empty Stomach?
Amoxicillin is a drug that doesn’t depend upon your food intake. So, you can take it on an empty stomach, or even after meals.
The guidelines don’t say anything about food intake when it comes to taking amoxicillin. That means that this drug isn’t influenced by food. So, amoxicillin’s action on your body won’t change whether or not your stomach is empty. Amoxicillin won’t cause harm to your body either if you take it with or without food.
So, why does this question come, ‘can you take amoxicillin on an empty stomach?’ The reason is that the action of many drugs is affected by food. But how does this work? Let’s see what effect food has on a drug.
How the Food You Take Affects Different Drugs?
Food can affect your drugs in three different ways. Let’s take a look at these:
After you swallow a tablet, the medicine has to reach your blood for its effect. This process is called absorption. The digestive juices inside your stomach and intestines break the drug into smaller sizes. And the cells of the intestines can then absorb the smaller particles.
The acidity of the intestines can influence this breakage of the drug. And the food you take can change this acidity. For example, taking too much citrus food can increase acidity. So, highly acidic drugs are better absorbed.
Another thing that can mess up this process is food particles binding to drugs. For example, food, especially milk, can form bonds with the drug tetracycline. This reduces the absorption. So, you have to take it when your stomach is empty.
Some drugs are better absorbed with particular foods. For example, fat-soluble drugs are best taken with meals.
Adverse Effects on the Stomach
Drugs like NSAIDs and steroids should be taken after a meal on a full stomach. That’s because these drugs damage the mucous layer of your stomach. Normally, this layer protects the cells of your stomach from stomach acid.
Without this layer, you’ll get ulcers if you take these drugs on an empty stomach. The food you eat can neutralize this acid to some extent. That’s why doctors advise patients to take these drugs on a full stomach.
So, How Does This Affect Amoxicillin?
Amoxicillin is a weakly acidic water-soluble drug. And under normal conditions, 70% of the drug is absorbed. So, it doesn’t matter which food you take. The absorption of Amoxicillin remains almost the same.
Amoxicillin has no serious side effects on the stomach like ulceration. So, you can take amoxicillin on an empty stomach without serious harm.
However, in some cases, Amoxicillin can cause a slight upset of your stomach. This doesn’t happen to everyone. And this happens more if you take it on an empty stomach.
So, if you’re consistently having this problem, you can take Amoxicillin with food. The action of the drug won’t be affected by the food. However, you should also consult with your physician. They can figure out if there’s anything wrong with the drug dosing.
There are some other things that come up while talking about Amoxicillin. So, let’s take a quick look at the drug.
Amoxicillin is an antibiotic of the penicillin group. It first reached the market in around 1972. It is semisynthetic penicillin. It is a commonly used antibiotic nowadays.
It works against specific bacteria. It can make the cell wall of the bacteria weak. This causes the wall to rupture and thus kills the bacteria in the process.
Amoxicillin is moderate to broad in its antibiotic spectrum. It acts against certain gram-positive and gram-negative organisms. Susceptible organisms include:
Some organisms are resistant to it. They include Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, Staphylococcus, Escherichia, etc.
Dosing and Dosage Formulations
Amoxicillin is a penicillin that you can take by mouth. There can be capsules, tablets, syrups, extended-release formulations, etc. For severe and emergency use, injectable forms are also available in the market.
Your doctor will calculate your dose according to your age, weight, and type of disease. Normally you have to take this drug 2 or 3 times a day. And you have to evenly space out these times.
How Long Does Amoxicillin Take To Work?
It depends on the severity of the infection and the symptoms. But in most cases, you can see the effects of amoxicillin kick in within 3 days. If you don’t feel better within then, you might consider contacting your doctor. And even if you do feel better, you have to complete the entire course.
What Amoxicillin Can Treat
Amoxicillin can be used to treat a number of conditions including:
- Upper respiratory tract infections
- Urinary tract infection
- Skin infection
- Middle ear infections
- Subacute Bacterial Endocarditis
One common question is, ‘what happens if you take amoxicillin without needing it?’ For starters, the adverse effects can kick in if you do this. Bacteria will also grow resistance to the drug. So, the next time you actually do need this drug, it won’t work.
There’s also a chance of developing a superinfection. So, you should never take Amoxicillin without the advice of a trained professional.
Amoxicillin Side Effects
Amoxicillin, like all penicillin, has a few adverse effects. The ones you should watch out for are:
- Amoxicillin can cause nausea and vomiting. Taking it with food can sometimes reduce this stomach upset.
- Skin rash is a common side effect of Amoxicillin. This rash can be allergic or non-allergic.
- Amoxicillin can also affect your nervous system. The symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, photosensitivity, etc. These are reversible most of the time.
- Hypersensitivity is a serious side effect of all penicillin’s. But few people develop this. And it occurs on the second time taking the drug. Symptoms include sudden rash, lightheadedness, fall in blood pressure, difficulty in breathing, etc. This is a medical emergency.
- Superinfection occurs if you take Amoxicillin for too long. There’s diarrhea by an organism called Clostridium difficile that is resistant to Amoxicillin.
Hope that answers your question, ‘Can you take Amoxicillin on an empty stomach?’ The guidelines don’t mention anything about food. So, you can take Amoxicillin on an empty stomach. However, if you’re getting an upset stomach, you can take it after meals. And if your symptoms get worse, it might be time to see the doctor.
Let’s check out some of the frequently asked questions.
What Happens if I Take Amoxicillin on an Empty Stomach?
Amoxicillin will work as it’s supposed to if you take it on an empty stomach. However, you might get an upset stomach. So, you might opt to take it with food.
Can I Take 500MG Amoxicillin Without Food?
Yes, you can take 500mg of Amoxicillin without food. Food isn’t needed for Amoxicillin’s absorption. So, it’ll work even if you take it on an empty stomach. But you might feel nauseous if you do so.
What Is the Most Common Side Effect of Amoxicillin?
Feeling nauseous and vomiting are the most common side effects of Amoxicillin. However, diarrhea and rash are not that uncommon. Serious side effects that you have to watch out for include hypersensitivity, superinfection, and anaphylactic shock.