How does amoxycillin with clavulanic acid work?

Amoxycillin and clavulanic acid work together to kill the bacteria that can cause some respiratory tract infections (RTIs), and urinary and genital tract infections.

This combination medicine is not stronger than amoxycillin alone. Instead, the combination medicine targets a different, broader range of bacteria, which means that more types of bacteria are killed by the combination antibiotic than by amoxycillin alone.

The antibiotics both interfere with the process of building and repairing the bacterial cell wall by affecting the bonds that hold the bacterial cell wall together. This allows holes to appear in the cell wall, killing the bacteria. The bacterial cell wall is essential for survival because it prevents the cell contents from leaking out, and protects the bacteria from unwanted substances getting into the cells.

Find out more about the infections amoxycillin with clavulanic acid is used for, and its side effects and interactions.

References
  • Rossi S, ed. Australian Medicines Handbook [online]. Adelaide: AMH, July 2012.
  • Sweetman S, ed. Martindale: The complete drug reference [online]. London: Pharmaceutical Press (accessed 18 October 2011).
  • Antibiotic Expert Group. Therapeutic Guidelines: Amoxycillin plus clavulanate. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2012 (accessed 24 February2012).