As with any potent drug, periodic assessment of organ system function, including renal, hepatic, and hematopoietic, should be made during prolonged therapy.
Transient elevation of serum transaminase has been observed following administration of ampicillin. The significance of this finding is not known.
The concurrent administration of allopurinol and ampicillin increases substantially the incidence of skin rashes in patients receiving both drugs as compared to patients receiving ampicillin alone. It is not known whether this potentiation of ampicillin rashes is due to allopurinol or the hyperuricemia present in these patients.
With high urine concentrations of ampicillin, false-positive glucose reactions may occur if Clinitest, Benedict’s Solution, or Fehling’s Solution are used. Therefore, it is recommended that glucose tests based on enzymatic glucose oxidase reactions (such as Clinistix or Tes-Tape [Glucose Enzymatic Test Strip USP]) be used.
No long-term animal studies have been conducted with this drug.
Reproduction studies have been performed in laboratory animals at doses several times the human dose and have revealed no evidence of adverse effects to ampicillin. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Oral ampicillin-class antibiotics are poorly absorbed during labor. Studies in guinea pigs showed that intravenous administration of ampicillin slightly decreased the uterine tone and frequency of contractions, but moderately increased the height and duration of contractions. However, it is not known whether use of these drugs in humans during labor or delivery has immediate or delayed adverse effects on the fetus, prolongs the duration of labor, or increases the likelihood that forceps delivery or other obstetrical intervention or resuscitation of the newborn will be necessary.
Ampicillin is excreted in trace amounts in human milk. Therefore, caution should be exercised when ampicillin-class antibiotics are administered to a nursing woman.
Guidelines for the administration of these drugs to children are presented in DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.
As with other penicillins, it may be expected that untoward reactions will be essentially limited to sensitivity phenomena. They are more likely to occur in individuals who have previously demonstrated hypersensitivity to penicillins and in those with a history of allergy, asthma, hay fever, or urticaria.
The following adverse reactions have been reported as associated with the use of ampicillin.
Glossitis, stomatitis, black “hairy” tongue, nausea, vomiting, enterocolitis, pseudomembranous colitis, and diarrhea. (These reactions are usually associated with oral dosage forms.)
Skin rashes and urticaria have been reported frequently. A few cases of exfoliative dermatitis and erythema multiforme have been reported. Anaphylaxis is the most serious reaction experienced and has usually been associated with the parenteral dosage form. Note: Urticaria, other skin rashes, and serum sickness-like reactions may be controlled with antihistamines and, if necessary, systemic corticosteroids. Whenever such reactions occur, ampicillin should be discontinued, unless, in the opinion of the physician, the condition being treated is life-threatening and amenable only to ampicillin therapy. Serious anaphylactic reactions require the immediate use of epinephrine, oxygen, and intravenous steroids.
A moderate rise in serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT) has been noted, particularly in infants, but the significance of this finding is unknown. Mild transitory SGOT elevations have been observed in individuals receiving larger (two to four times) than usual and oft-repeated intramuscular injections. Evidence indicates that glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) is released at the site of intramuscular injection of ampicillin and that the presence of increased amounts of this enzyme in the blood does not necessarily indicate liver involvement.
Anemia, thrombocytopenia, thrombocytopenic purpura, eosinophilia, leukopenia, and agranulocytosis have been reported during therapy with the penicillins. These reactions are usually reversible on discontinuation of therapy and are believed to be hypersensitivity phenomena.
In cases of overdose, discontinue medication, treat symptomatically and institute supportive measures as required. In patients with renal function impairment, ampicillin-class antibiotics can be removed by hemodialysis but not peritoneal dialysis.
Patients weighing 40 kg (88 lbs) or more: 250 to 500 mg every 6 hours.
Patients weighing less than 40 kg (88 lbs): 25 to 50 mg/kg/day in equally divided doses at 6 to 8 hour intervals.
Infections of the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts (including those caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae in females).
Patients weighing 40 kg (88 lbs) or more: 500 mg every 6 hours.
Patients weighing less than 40 kg (88 lbs): 50 mg/kg/day in equally divided doses at 6 to 8 hour intervals.
In the treatment of chronic urinary tract and intestinal infections, frequent bacteriological and clinical appraisal is necessary. Smaller doses than those recommended above should not be used. Higher doses should be used for stubborn or severe infections. In stubborn infections, therapy may be required for several weeks. It may be necessary to continue clinical and/or bacteriological follow-up for several months after cessation of therapy.
Adults: Two doses of 500 mg each at an interval of 8 to 12 hours. Treatment may be repeated if necessary or extended if required.
In the treatment of complications of gonorrheal urethritis, such as prostatitis and epididymitis, prolonged and intensive therapy is recommended. Cases of gonorrhea with a suspected primary lesion of syphilis should have darkfield examinations before receiving treatment. In all other cases where concomitant syphilis is suspected, monthly serological tests should be made for a minimum of four months.
The doses for the preceding infections may be given by either the intramuscular or intravenous route. A change to oral ampicillin may be made when appropriate.
Adults and children: 150 to 200 mg/kg/day in equally divided doses every 3 to 4 hours. (Treatment may be initiated with intravenous infusion therapy and continued with intramuscular injections.) The doses for other infections may be given by either the intravenous or intramuscular route.
Adults and children: 150 to 200 mg/kg/day. Start with intravenous administration for at least 3 days and continue with the intramuscular route every 3 to 4 hours.
Treatment of all infections should be continued for a minimum of 48 to 72 hours beyond the time that the patient becomes asymptomatic or evidence of bacterial eradication has been obtained. A minimum of 10-days treatment is recommended for any infection caused by Group A beta-hemolytic streptococci to help prevent the occurrence of acute rheumatic fever or acute glomerulonephritis.
Use only fresh prepared solutions. Intramuscular and intravenous injections should be administered within one hour after preparation, since the potency may decrease significantly after this period.
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