Amoxicillin and Clavulanate Potassium (Page 2 of 6)


5.1 Serious Allergic Reactions, Including Anaphylaxis

Serious and occasionally fatal hypersensitivity (anaphylactic) reactions have been reported in patients receiving amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium. These reactions are more likely to occur in individuals with a history of penicillin hypersensitivity and/or a history of sensitivity to multiple allergens.

Before initiating therapy with amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium, careful inquiry should be made regarding previous hypersensitivity reactions to penicillins, cephalosporins, or other allergens. If an allergic reaction occurs, discontinue amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium and institute appropriate therapy.

5.2 Hepatic Dysfunction

Use amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium with caution in patients with evidence of hepatic dysfunction. Hepatic toxicity associated with the use of amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium is usually reversible. Deaths have been reported (fewer than one death reported per estimated four million prescriptions worldwide). These have generally been cases associated with serious underlying diseases or concomitant medications [see Contraindications (4.2) and Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

5.3 Clostridium difficile -Associated Diarrhea

Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.

C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibacterial drug use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.

If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibacterial drug use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibacterial treatment of C. difficile , and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.

5.4 Skin Rash in Patients with Mononucleosis

A high percentage of patients with mononucleosis who receive amoxicillin develop an erythematous skin rash. Thus, amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium should not be administered to patients with mononucleosis.

5.5 Potential for Microbial Overgrowth

The possibility of superinfections with mycotic or bacterial pathogens should be kept in mind during therapy. If superinfections occur (usually involving Pseudomonas spp. or Candida spp.), the drug should be discontinued and/or appropriate therapy instituted.

5.7 Development of Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Prescribing amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.


6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Two clinical trials evaluated the safety of a 10 day treatment course of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium for oral suspension (90/6.4 mg/kg/day, divided every 12 hours), in pediatric patients with acute otitis media [see Clinical Studies (14) ]. The first trial involved 521 pediatric patients (3 months to 50 months) and the second trial involved 450 pediatric patients (3 months to 12 years). In the intent-to-treat population of the first trial of 521 patients, the most frequently reported adverse events were vomiting (7%), fever (6%), contact dermatitis (i.e., diaper rash) (6%), upper respiratory tract infection (4%), and diarrhea (4%). Protocol-defined diarrhea (i.e., 3 or more watery stools in one day or 2 watery stools per day for 2 consecutive days as recorded on diary cards) occurred in 13% of patients. The primary objective of the second study was to compare the safety of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium for oral suspension (90/6.4 mg/kg/day, divided every 12 hours) to amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium (45/6.4 mg/kg/day, divided every 12 hours) for ten days. There was no statistically significant difference between treatments in the proportion of patients with 1 or more adverse events. The most frequently reported adverse reactions for amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium for oral suspension and the comparator of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium were coughing (12% versus 7%), vomiting (7% versus 8%), contact dermatitis (i.e., diaper rash, 6% versus 5%), fever (6% versus 4%), and upper respiratory infection (3% versus 9%), respectively. The frequencies of protocol-defined diarrhea with amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium for oral suspension (11%) and amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium (9%) were not statistically different. Two patients in the group treated with amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium for oral suspension and one patient in the group treated with amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium were withdrawn due to diarrhea.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

In addition to adverse reactions reported from clinical trials, the following have been identified during postmarketing use of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium products, including amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium for oral suspension. Because they are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, estimates of frequency cannot be made. These events have been chosen for inclusion due to a combination of their seriousness, frequency of reporting, or potential causal connection to amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium.


Nausea, indigestion, gastritis, stomatitis, glossitis, black “hairy” tongue, mucocutaneous candidiasis, enterocolitis, and hemorrhagic/pseudomembranous colitis. Onset of pseudomembranous colitis symptoms may occur during or after antibacterial drug treatment.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Skin rashes, pruritus, urticaria, angioedema, serum sickness-like reactions (urticaria or skin rash accompanied by arthritis, arthralgia, myalgia, and frequently fever), erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, hypersensitivity vasculitis, and an occasional case of exfoliative dermatitis (including toxic epidermal necrolysis) have been reported [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.1)].


A moderate rise in AST (SGOT) and/or ALT (SGPT) has been noted in patients treated with ampicillin-class antibacterial drugs. Hepatic dysfunction, including hepatitis and cholestatic jaundice, increases in serum transaminases (AST and/or ALT), serum bilirubin, and/or alkaline phosphatase, has been reported with amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium or amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium for oral suspension. It has been reported more commonly in the elderly, in males, or in patients on prolonged treatment. The histologic findings on liver biopsy have consisted of cholestatic, hepatocellular, or mixed cholestatic-hepatocellular changes. The onset of signs/symptoms of hepatic dysfunction may occur during or several weeks after therapy has been discontinued. The hepatic dysfunction, which may be severe, is usually reversible. Deaths have been reported [see CONTRAINDICATIONS (4.2), WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.2)].


Interstitial nephritis, hematuria, and crystalluria have been reported [see OVERDOSAGE (10)].

Hemic and Lymphatic Systems

Anemia, including hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, thrombocytopenic purpura, eosinophilia, leukopenia, and agranulocytosis have been reported during therapy with penicillins. These reactions are usually reversible on discontinuation of therapy and are believed to be hypersensitivity phenomena. There have been reports of increased prothrombin time in patients receiving amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium and anticoagulant therapy concomitantly.

Central Nervous System

Agitation, anxiety, behavioral changes, confusion, convulsions, dizziness, headache, insomnia, and reversible hyperactivity have been reported.


Tooth discoloration (brown, yellow, or gray staining) has been reported. Most reports occurred in pediatric patients. Discoloration was reduced or eliminated with brushing or dental cleaning in most cases.

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