What Are the Pros and Cons of Amoxicillin for Babies?

Amoxicillin can sometimes cause stomach pain and nausea in babies.
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  • Written By: Debra Barnhart
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2014
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Amoxicillin is a form of penicillin antibiotic regularly prescribed for adults as well as infants and babies. While this drug is usually safe and beneficial in treating the commonplace infections that trouble infants and babies, it is capable of producing side effects that include, stomach upset, rash and, according to some experts, damage to permanent teeth. Acute, life-threatening side effects of amoxicillin for babies are rare, but parents should be especially careful to watch out for signs and symptoms of these rare reactions.

Like all antibiotics, amoxicillin works by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria that cause infections. Over 100 different types of antibiotics exist, and each is formulated to target specific types of bacteria. Doctors prescribe amoxicillin for babies and adults to counteract a variety of bacterial infections that will respond to this particular drug. For example, amoxicillin is often prescribed for ear infections, which are especially prevalent among babies and children. Amoxicillin is also used to treat lower respiratory tract infections, sinusitis, urinary tract infections and some skin infections.

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When doctors prescribe amoxicillin for babies, some common side effects may occur; these include pain in the stomach, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Stomach issues sometimes occur when taking antibiotics because the drug may affect some of the good bacteria that live in the digestive tract. Parents should contact their pediatrician immediately if signs of stomach upset occur when a baby is taking amoxicillin. They should also watch out for signs of dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea and be sure to give a baby liquids to prevent this. Lethargy, going six hours without a wet diaper, and dry lips may all be signs of dehydration.

Some research indicates that pediatric dosages of amoxicillin for babies can increase the risk of developing dental fluorosis, a condition in which the tooth enamel is damaged and the teeth become stained. Dental fluorosis occurs not in the baby teeth, but in the permanent, adult teeth that form inside the gums between birth and five or six years of age. The condition is not apparent until a child’s adult teeth come in.

Amoxicillin may also cause skin rash, a possible indication of allergy to the drug. Difficulty breathing and swelling of the face may also be signs of an allergic reaction to amoxicillin. Other severe side effects include red or peeling skin, yellowing of the eyes or skin, dark urine, sore throat and blood in the stools. Parents should seek immediate medical care for their babies at the first sign of any of these symptoms.

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burcinc
Post 3

@alisha-- Yea, you can add it to her formula, to fruit juice or milk. Just make sure she drinks it all! It won't change the effectiveness of the medication.

serenesurface
Post 2

Amoxicillin is an effective drug. I've used it many times for my kids when they got infections.

The issue is that sometimes, it causes many side effects and it becomes a question of whether to continue the mediation or not. Once, my son had both diarrhea and vomiting because of amoxicillin. I didn't want to quit the antibiotic before the course was over because I know that makes things worse. The infection can come back more seriously.

At the same time, the diarrhea and vomiting was leaving my son dehydrated which can also be dangerous. I ended up taking him to the ER and they stopped the antibiotic and gave him fluids to treat dehydration. They said that if he wasn't dehydrated, they would have kept him on the amoxicillin but they didn't want to take that risk in his condition.

So amoxicillin can work great, or it can be problematic. It really depends on the child and how he or she responds to it.

discographer
Post 1

One bad part about amoxicillin drops is that my baby refuses to drink it. I've tried giving it to her three times today and she spat it out each time.

She needs to take it for her ear infection and the doctor said not to miss a dose.

Can I possibly mix amoxicillin with fruit juice or formula or something and give it to her that way? Will it affect the effectiveness of the drug?

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