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Can you take amoxicillin and metronidazole together? [Answered]
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Can you take amoxicillin and metronidazole together?

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Amoxicillin is one of the most prescribed antibiotics in the UK. On the contrary, metronidazole is significantly less prescribed by GPs, mainly because of preferred use in dental infections. Prescriptions which are fulfilled in the pharmacy for a combination treatment with amoxicillin and metronidazole are almost always issued by a dentist rather than GP. The obvious question to ask is: can you take amoxicillin and metronidazole together? The answer to that question straightforward. However, I will provide reasoning behind the concomitant treatment and contrast both antibiotics. 

Amoxicillin vs metronidazole

Licensed use

Both amoxicillin and metronidazole are classified as prescription-only antibiotics. Both antibiotics are classified as broad-spectrum antibiotics, meaning that they can be used to treat various infections.

The main difference between amoxicillin and metronidazole comes from recommended use. Metronidazole is the preferred antibiotics to prevent and treat infections caused by anaerobic bacteria.

Amoxicillin and metronidazole are prescribed usually by dentists to treat dental abscesses. The main symptoms of dental abscesses are:

  • Pain
  • Swelling and
  • Redness of the gum around the affected tooth

Amoxicillin vs metronidazole: common side effects

Metronidazole is not associated with very common or common side effects. For a list of all possible side effects, refer to the product information leaflet.

Amoxicillin, on the other hand, can commonly cause the following side effects:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Skin rash

Amoxicillin vs metronidazole: availability of different forms

For adults and adolescents, amoxicillin is available in the form of capsules that contain either 250mg or 500mg of amoxicillin.

Metronidazole, on the other hand, comes in the form of tablets. Metronidazole is available as 200mg and 400mg tablets.

Both antibiotics are available in liquid form, usually prescribed for children. Amoxicillin and other liquid antibiotics for children come in a variety of strengths.

Should I take amoxicillin or metronidazole with or without food?

Amoxicillin can be taken on a full or empty stomach, whereas metronidazole should be taken with or just after food or meal.

Why amoxicillin and metronidazole at the same time?

Amoxicillin and metronidazole are prescribed at the same time, usually in the treatment of dental abscesses. Amoxicillin is regarded as the first-line antibiotic in treating infections that originated from tooth or surrounding tissues. However, as with the treatment of other infections, bacteria became resistant to common antibiotics lime penicillins leading to the treatment’s failure. Metronidazole is effective against anaerobic bacteria which are resistant to amoxicillin. A combination of amoxicillin and metronidazole is used in severe infections to give the best outcome for the treatment against different bacteria.

What is antibiotic resistance? (video)

Can you take amoxicillin and metronidazole together?

Amoxicillin and metronidazole can be taken together. British National Formulary (BNF) and product information license for both antibiotics do not list any interactions between both drugs.

As we already established, amoxicillin and metronidazole are licensed and used to treat infections caused by different bacteria. Combination treatment with two antibiotics is not an uncommon practice. Another popular example of combination treatment with two antibiotics and proton pump inhibitor such as omeprazole is H. pylori infection treatment.

How are amoxicillin and metronidazole taken together?

Follow the directions of your prescriber on how to take amoxicillin and metronidazole together. The recommended dosage for an adult is as follows:

  • For amoxicillin: 1 capsule (500mg) taken three times a day
  • For metronidazole: 1 tablet (400mg) taken three times a day.

Metronidazole and amoxicillin are usually prescribed for five or seven days.

Conclusion

To sum up, amoxicillin and metronidazole can be taken together. Dentist commonly prescribes both antibiotics to threat more several dental infections. Both antibiotics complement each other, making the treatment of bacterial infections more successful.

References

Shweta, Prakash SK. Dental abscess: A microbiological review. Dent Res J (Isfahan). 2013;10(5):585-591. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3858730/ Accessed on 10/02/2021

 

I am a community pharmacist working in UK. I blog about drugs, health and pharmacy.

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