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Q: Can Amokem cause high blood pressure?
A: Amokem is an antibiotic that is used to treat many different bacterial infections including ear infections, bladder infections, and pneumonia. Commonly reported side effects of Amokem include rash and other hypersensitivity reactions that suggest an allergy to the medication, diarrhea or stomach upset, and headache. A review of the package insert did not specifically list increased blood pressure as a side effect of Amokem. If you think you are having a side effect from your medication, it is best to talk to your healthcare provider. Do not stop or change your medication unless you are directed to do so by your provider. Antibiotics, like Amokem, should be taken as directed on the label. It is important to complete the medication as directed and not stop taking the medication as soon as you start to feel better. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may increase the risk that the infection will come back and that it will be harder to treat. There are many potential causes of high blood pressure or hypertension. The most common causes include smoking, being overweight, stress, and excessive salt intake. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but it will cause damage to the organs of the body over time. Treatment typically begins with lifestyle modifications and then medications are added as needed. Michelle McDermott, RPh, PharmD
Q: I've been taking Amokem for a week for otitis media (middle ear inflammation), but only the pain has subsided. I still can't hear out of my affected ear, is ringing and feels plugged up. Should I ask the doctor to renew this prescription?
A: Generally, symptoms of infection improve after a few days of therapy with an antibiotic such as Amokem. Contact your health care provider for symptoms of otitis media (middle ear inflammation) that haven't yet resolved. You may need additional medications, such as decongestants. Meanwhile, be sure to complete the entire prescription of antibiotics unless your health care provider directs you otherwise. You can find more information about middle ear inflammation at //www.everydayhealth.com/ear-nose-throat/ear-infection.aspx. Sarah Lewis, PharmD
NDC 43598-019-01 Bottles of 100 NDC 43598-019-14 Bottles of 20
Powder for Oral Suspension: Each 5 mL of reconstituted strawberry-flavored suspension contains 125 mg Amokem as the trihydrate. Each 5 mL of reconstituted bubble-gum-flavored suspension contains 200 mg, 250 mg or 400 mg Amokem as the trihydrate.
Before taking Amokem,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Amokem; penicillin antibiotics; cephalosporin antibiotics such as cefaclor, cefadroxil, cefazolin (Ancef, Kefzol), cefepime (Maxipime), cefixime (Suprax), cefotaxime (Claforan), cefotetan, cefoxitin (Mefoxin), cefpodoxime, cefprozil, ceftaroline (Teflaro), ceftazidime (Fortaz, Tazicef, in Avycaz), ceftibuten, ceftriaxone, cefuroxime (Ceftin, Zinacef), and cephalexin (Keflex); any other medications; or any of the ingredients in Amokem capsules, tablets, or suspension. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: allopurinol (Lopurin, Zyloprim), other antibiotics, anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), oral contraceptives, and probenecid (Probalan, in Col-Probenecid). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have mononucleosis (a virus; also called 'mono') and if you have or have ever had kidney disease, allergies, asthma, hay fever, or hives.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking Amokem, call your doctor.
- if you have phenylketonuria (PKU, an inherited condition in which a special diet must be followed to prevent mental retardation), you should know that some Amokem chewable tablets are sweetened with aspartame that forms phenylalanine.
Q: Celestamine, Piriton, Amoxil, and Flugone are the drugs that I occasionally take. What are the side effects?
A: Amoxil (Amokem) is an antibiotic that is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. The most common side effects of Amokem are diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Rarely, severe side effects can occur when taking Amokem such as severe allergic reactions (rash, hives, itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody stools; confusion; dark urine; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe diarrhea; stomach pain or cramps; and unusual bruising or bleeding. Stop taking Amokem immediately, and consult your physician immediately if any of these severe effects occur. Celestamine, Piriton, and Flugone are not approved for use in the United States; therefore, I cannot provide any information about these medications. Burton Dunaway, PharmD
How should this medicine be used?
Amokem comes as a capsule, a tablet, a chewable tablet, and as a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken every 12 hours (twice a day) or every 8 hours (three times a day) with or without food. The length of your treatment depends on the type of infection that you have. Take Amokem at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Amokem exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly. The suspension may be placed directly on the child's tongue or added to formula, milk, fruit juice, water, ginger ale, or another cold liquid and taken immediately.
The chewable tablets should be crushed or chewed thoroughly before they are swallowed. The tablets and capsules should be swallowed whole and taken with a full glass of water.
You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with Amokem. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, call your doctor.
Take Amokem until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop taking Amokem too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
Resistance to Amokem is mediated primarily through enzymes called beta-lactamases that cleave the beta-lactam ring of Amokem, rendering it inactive.
Amokem has been shown to be active against most isolates of the bacteria listed below, both in vitro and in clinical infections as described in the INDICATIONS AND USAGE section.
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Other uses for this medicine
Amokem also is sometimes used to treat Lyme disease, to prevent anthrax infection after exposure, and to treat anthrax infection of the skin . Talk with your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
A headache is pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck. The most common headaches are most likely caused by tight, contracted muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp, and jaw.
Headaches are a common side effect of taking Amokem, and while less serious, are a frequent occurrence.
Taking your dosages with food and drinking an adequate amount of water can help prevent headaches caused by Amokem.
Headache and migraine medications, including Tylenol and Aleve, can help to relieve headaches caused by Amokem.
Amokem and birth-control measures
Amokem may reduce the effectiveness of birth control measures, such as patches, rings, or the birth control pill.
A secondary prevention method such as condoms may be needed during the treatment course.
Anyone who is using these methods of birth control should discuss their options with their physician or health care provider.
Although Amokem can treat certain infections effectively, repeated use can reduce its effectiveness.
A 20-year study published in the BMJ in 2014 found that 1 in 10 of all antibiotic prescriptions failed to treat the infection. The number of antibiotic failures has been rising.
This would appear to indicate a growing tendency toward antibiotic resistance, where overuse of antibiotics is reducing their effectiveness.
For this reason, doctors need to be sure that the patient's condition is caused by a bacteria, and to know if a patient has previously used Amokem.
Alcohol does not affect the antibiotic activity of Amokem, but patients should avoid drinking alcohol while an active infection is present. This can support the body in effectively eradicating infection.
The use of alcohol may also mask side effects that can occur with Amokem, increasing the potential for complications.
Health care providers should also know if the patient has any of the following conditions:
- allergy to penicillin or cephalosporin antibiotics
- hay fever
- kidney disease
Being clear and concise with doctors and health care providers will ensure the safe and effective use of Amokem.
Interactions that increase the risk of side effects from other drugs
Taking Amokem with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from these medications. Amokem increases the amount of these drugs in your body.
Examples of these drugs include drugs to treat blood clots. If you use them with Amokem, you have a higher risk of bleeding.