What is amoxycillin with clavulanic acid for?

Your health professional may prescribe amoxycillin with clavulanic acid if you have an infection caused by bacteria and you are at risk of complications of the infection.

Your health professional may prescribe amoxycillin on its own first. If amoxycillin alone does not clear up your bacterial infection, they may prescribe amoxycillin combined with clavulanic acid. Amoxycillin with clavulanic acid is more likely to cause side effects than amoxycillin alone, so it is usually only prescribed for infections that do not respond to amoxycillin alone.

Amoxycillin with clavulanic acid is used to treat:

People who are generally unwell, or have an ongoing health condition such as the ones listed below, are at greater risk of complications. They are more likely to benefit from antibiotics than other people.

Amoxycillin with clavulanic acid can also be used to treat other infections caused by bacteria including urinary and genital tract infections.

If your symptoms don’t improve after a few days of taking amoxycillin with clavulanic acid, or your symptoms get worse, see your doctor.

Find out more about the side effects and interactions of amoxycillin with clavulanic acid.

People at risk of the complications of RTIs include:

  • children younger than 5 years old, especially those born with heart or circulatory problems
  • people aged 65 years or older, especially those living in a nursing home
  • people with long-term health problems such as diabetes, heart, liver or kidney disease
  • pregnant women
  • people who are very obese (body mass index [BMI] of 35 or higher)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • people with breathing problems due to asthma, cystic fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • people with conditions that affect breathing, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and seizure disorders
  • people with weakened immune systems (e.g. due to HIV infection, cancer and some medicines)
  • homeless people
  • people who smoke.
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).