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What are the Pros and Cons of Taking Amoxicillin Capsules?

Autumn Rivers
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Amoxicillin is often prescribed to treat bacterial infections, but most patients get to choose the form they take. It is often available in tablets, powder, and capsules, with the latter option typically being popular for many reasons. One of the main advantages of amoxicillin capsules is that the correct dosage is usually easy to take, as the medicine does not need to be measured or cut in half. Additionally, the coating on capsules can make them easy to take without water despite their large size, and are widely available at most pharmacies. Of course, some people have trouble swallowing any type of pill, and also may be inconvenienced by the higher cost of capsules.

One of the biggest advantages of taking amoxicillin in capsule form is that they typically make it easy to take the correct dosage, which is not the case for every form of this medicine. For example, powder often has to be measured out, and tablets sometimes need to be cut in half to get the correct dose. Capsules, by contrast, typically need to be taken whole, which means that no measuring or cutting is involved. This advantage often makes them popular among patients, making them easy to find at most pharmacies.

This form of amoxicillin is often best for those who have no trouble swallowing pills, as they are often larger than tablets. Fortunately, though, they often include a slick coating on the outside that makes them easier to swallow than tablets, which means that most people do not even need to drink water with them. The fact that they can often slide down the throat easily makes them particularly convenient for those taking them on-the-go, without access to food or drinks. On the other hand, patients who dislike swallowing pills can often open the capsule and pour its contents into food, such as applesauce or pudding, to make the medicine easier to take.

Of course, not everyone can spend time opening up amoxicillin capsules and mixing the contents with their food. For this reason, some patients choose chewable tablets instead, as this form of medication does not require them to swallow large pills or mix powder with food. Additionally, though capsules are typically easy to find at pharmacies, they are also often more expensive than other forms. These drawbacks may promote some patients to choose regular tablets, chewable tablets, or powder instead.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Autumn Rivers
By Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for The Health Board, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
Discussion Comments
By anon317277 — On Feb 01, 2013

@bagley79: Go ahead. Unless it says do not use after a certain number of years, specifically, a medicine is always fine to take when "expired". Expired means that they have only tested it to be fully effective up until that date.

Companies that manufacture these medicines do not test to see the maximum shelf life of a capsule because they have neither the time nor the inclination to continue testing some medicines that may last years and years without expiration. Plus it gets you to buy more of their medicine. Try it, still talk to your doctor when you can, if it's working, tell your doctor that and they may still find another problem if it's chronic.

By julies — On Jan 03, 2012

Has anyone ever had any bad side effects from amoxicillin?

I have taken different kinds of antibiotics over the years, but every time I have taken amoxicillin I end of getting a yeast infection.

I know yeast infections are often common with antibiotics, so the first time I just thought it was just a coincidence.

When it happened a second time, I didn't think it was worth continuing to take it. Now when I need to have an antibiotic for something, I always ask for something other than amoxicillin.

I never ask for a certain form of antibiotic, but I have always had either a capsule or a tablet. I think the powder would be pretty inconvenient.

By myharley — On Jan 03, 2012

Swallowing any kind of pills has never been easy for me. It took me until I was a teenager before I was even able to swallow an aspirin for a headache.

Now it is easier for me, but I always ask if they have capsules when I am prescribed any medication. I don't like the taste of most of the liquids, or like to mess with powder.

My doctor prescribed some amoxicillin 500mg capsules for me when I had a bladder infection. These are pretty large pills and I thought I might have a hard time getting them down.

As long as I had something to drink, I didn't have any problem. The capsules are slick enough so they go down OK with a large drink of water.

I don't know how people can take them without any water at all though. I know that would not work for me, as they would probably get stuck in my throat.

By honeybees — On Jan 02, 2012

@bagley79 - I know many medications are still good beyond the expiration date on the bottle, but if it were me, I would not want to take the chance.

I know some people who keep extra amoxicillin and antibiotics like that around hoping to save them a trip to the doctor. Many times if you don't take all of the antibiotics prescribed, your symptoms will come back again and be even worse than before.

Most of the time, there are only a few pills left, and not enough to really do much good. I don't think I am very good at trying to guess what might be wrong, and would feel a lot better about being seen by the doctor.

If I have any left over prescription medications, I always throw them away. I have too many young kids around my house to take a chance of them somehow getting their hands on them.

By bagley79 — On Jan 01, 2012

I was prescribed some amoxicillin a couple years ago for an ear infection. This wasn't very severe, and I never finished the whole bottle. I know you are always supposed to take all of them no matter how well you might be feeling, but I didn't.

I am now getting the exact same symptoms I had then, and think I am getting another ear infection.

Does anyone know what the shelf life of amoxicillin capsules is? They would not yet be two years old. I am wondering if it would be safe to see if they would help what feels like another ear infection coming on.

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for The Health Board, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
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