Amoxicillin refrigeration is important for some liquid preparations of this drug. When amoxicillin needs to be refrigerated, the label should indicate that this is the case. Many amoxicillin pills, chewable tablets, and liquid suspensions can be kept at room temperature without going bad. If an oral suspension of amoxicillin is supposed to be kept refrigerated, the medication may lose its potency or may go bad if it is left out. Rather than risk taking a drug that may have gone bad, a replacement should be requested from a pharmacist if there is concern that the instructions regarding refrigeration have not been followed.
A combination of the antibiotics amoxicillin and clavulanic acid called amoxicillin clavulanate must always be stored in the refrigerator. Most patients are given a course of treatment with this medication that lasts from a few days to about two weeks. Leaving this medicine at room temperature for this amount of time can damage the drug and make the patient sicker. Following the proper amoxicillin refrigeration guidelines for this drug will help ensure that it is effective.
It is important to follow amoxicillin refrigeration guidelines for other oral suspensions of amoxicillin as well. In most cases, however, liquid suspensions of this drug can be left at room temperature while the patient is undergoing treatment. A pharmacist will be able to determine whether a particular type of amoxicillin is safe to leave out, but refrigeration will not damage amoxicillin, so patients who are unsure of the requirements can always store the drug in the refrigerator. Flavored preparations of amoxicillin may also require refrigeration because the additives in the flavoring can spoil.
When amoxicillin is in pill or tablet form, refrigeration is not usually necessary. Pills can almost always be stored at room temperature without losing potency, though they should be kept away from heat and light. Amoxicillin pills can, however, smell unpleasant. The odor of the pills may be reduced if they are stored in the refrigerator.
Like all medications, amoxicillin has a shelf life. Patients do not need to worry about this, since the medication they are given should usually be taken immediately. Pharmacists, however may prolong the usefulness of the medication by refrigerating it. Following the proper guidelines for powdered or pill-form amoxicillin refrigeration is important so that patients receive active medication with the proper potency.