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The pros and cons of taking amoxicillin for bronchitis include its usefulness in treating infection and its propensity for side effects. Bronchitis is generally caused by a bacterial infection, however, the cause can be related to a virus. When bacteria is thought to be the cause of bronchitis, antibiotics such as amoxicillin are effective in eradicating the infection and reducing coughing and fever.
Using amoxicillin for treating bronchitis is generally a good choice because amoxicillin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, meaning that it is effective against many strains of bacteria. Although it has an excellent record for resolving infections, amoxicillin does cause significant side effects in certain people. The most common side effects of amoxicillin include abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and nausea. Sometimes these symptoms are so disturbing that the individual opts to discontinue treatment.
It is important that patients make sure they finish all their antibiotics when taking amoxicillin for bronchitis or any other infection. If patients stop taking the medicine before they should, symptoms may return. Also, failure to take the recommended course of amoxicillin might result in incomplete resolution of infection and cause serious complications.
Other benefits of amoxicillin include how fast it works. Typically, the drug begins to relieve symptoms quickly. People using this drug usually start to feel better within a day or two.
Other pros and cons of amoxicillin for treating bronchitis include that children tolerate the liquid form very well initially, but can sometimes feel nauseated and even throw it up. When this occurs, the pediatrician needs to be notified, because when the antibiotic cannot be retained, the infection will not go away. Occasionally, when amoxicillin cannot be tolerated, other forms of treatment can be given, such as an antibiotic injection.
Since giving amoxicillin for bronchitis is so common, over-prescription of anti-biotics can become a problem. Occasionally, antibiotics are prescribed when they are not needed, such as when the infection is viral. This over-prescription can lead to future bacterial infections that might be resistant to antibiotics, rendering the drugs ineffective in a time when they are vitally needed.
It is important that when prescribing amoxicillin for bronchitis, physicians make certain that the bronchitis has a bacterial origin, and not a viral one. This will ensure that the patient does not become resistant to antibiotics and that the antibiotic will be effective in treating future infections. As with all medications, when side effects occur, individuals need to notify the health care provider who can recommend alternative treatment options to effectively resolve their condition.