How does amoxycillin work?

Amoxycillin works by killing the bacteria that can cause some respiratory tract infections (RTIs), urinary and genital tract infections, skin infections and stomach ulcers.

Amoxycillin interferes with the process of building and repairing the bacterial cell wall by affecting the bonds holding 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 which infections amoxycillin is used to treat, who can take it, and the side effects and interactions of amoxycillin.

  • 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 and ampicillin. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2012 (accessed 27 March 2012).