Comparison of Antibiotics: Ampicillin vs. Amoxicillin

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Difference between Ampicillin and Amoxicillin

Ampicillin and Amoxicillin are both antibiotics, and they have the same basic composition. Aside from these similarities however, each has its own specific usages and applications. In this comparison article, we compare the functions and dosage levels of each, among other essential details.

Ampicillin
Amoxicillin

Definition

Ampicillin is an antibiotic of the beta-lactam variety. It has been widely used as a treatment for bacterial infections since the early 1960s.

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic that belongs to the moderate-spectrum category. A bacteriolytic, β-lactam antibiotic, Amoxicillin is typically used in the treatment of bacterial infections caused by certain microorganisms.

Function

Amoxicillin functions by cross linking the polymer chains of Gram Positive and Negative bacteria cell walls. This results in the weakening of the defenses of disease causing substances. Ampicillin for its part works by affecting the enzyme transpeptidase, which is an important component of bacteria. Ampicillin works on these enzymes from the membrane surrounding the bacteria. Despite their slightly different approaches, both Amoxicillin and Ampicillin work to prevent bacterial membranes from forming fully, allowing human antibodies to penetrate and eliminate them. This approach is so effective simply because bacteria cannot survive inside the human body without the layer of protective membrane surrounding it.

Dosage

Ampicillin is commonly taken in 250 to 500 mg tablets four times in a day for a period of 7 to 14 days, depending on the condition to be treated, and the circumstances surrounding the patient. Amoxicillin on the other hand is most often taken in 500 mg tablets every eight hours. Alternately, patients may also be told to take 875 mg of Amoxicillin every 12 hours in cases of particularly severe infection.

One common use of both drugs is for the treatment of gonorrhea. In such cases, most doctors would prescribe Amoxicillin in a single dose of 3g or Ampicillin as a single does of 3.5 gram. In most cases, Amoxicillin is often taken with probenecid.

Precautions

The single most important thing about taking antibiotics is to follow doctor's instructions to the letter. Keep in mind however that while it is important to make up for any missed doses, you should never under any circumstances take a double dose of either drug as a way to catch up for missed doses. In the event of a missed does, simply skip that one and make sure to take the next prescribed dose until you have gone through the entire treatment period ordered by your doctor.

Compare and Contrast

Ampicillin

  • An antibiotic of the beta-lactam variety
  • Works by cross linking the polymer chains of gram positive and negative bacteria cell walls, thereby weakening cell defenses
  • Commonly taken in 250 to 500 mg tablets four times in a day for a period of 7 to 14 days

Amoxicillin

  • An antibiotic that belongs to the moderate-spectrum category
  • Typically used in the treatment of bacterial infections caused by certain microorganisms
  • Works by affecting the enzyme transpeptidase, which is an important component of bacteria
  • Most often taken in 500 mg tablets every eight hours or 875 mg every 12 hours

 
 

Discuss It: comments 1

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  • rajiv s bhattacharyya wrote on December 2011

need a comparison chart for ampicilin vs amoxycilin & wants to know the difference between these two molicule

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