Amoxicillin (Amoxil)

  • Generic name: Amoxicillin Trihydrate
  • Brand names: Amoxil, Biomox, Polymox, Trimox, Wymox
  • Therapeutic class: Antibiotic, Aminopenicillin

What is Amoxicillin used for?

  • Upper respiratory tract infections: strep throat (streptococcal pharyngitis and tonsillitis), sinusitis, otitis media (ear infection).
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Skin infections
  • Prophylaxis of bacterial endocarditis, periodontitis, tooth abscess
  • Chlamydia during pregnancy1

Latest 2013 research revealed that most generic brands of amoxicillin capsules are not interchangeable with the innovator brand (Amoxil™)4.

Strict contraindications

  • Allergy to amoxicillin or other penicillins. Seek medical attention right away if you experience allergic reaction such as rash, hives, itching, swelling (especially of the face, tongue), or trouble breathing.

Can you take amoxicillin if you are allergic to penicillin?
No. Amoxicillin is contraindicated for those allergic to penicillin because of potential cross-allergy1, which can be very severe.

Amoxicillin alternatives

  • Ampicillin - if you need a cheapest alternative.
  • Cephalosporins2, amoxicillin/clavulanate (Co-amoxiclav, Clavamox) - if antibiotic with a broader spectrum is required.
  • Spiramycin3, clarithromycin 2 - for people allergic to penicillins.


  • 1. Chlamydial Infections 2010 STD Treatment Guidelines. CDC
  • 2. Anon JB. Paediatr Drugs. 2003;5 Suppl 1:25-33.
  • 3. Bunnag C, Jareoncharsri P, Voraprayoon S, et al. Efficacy of spiramycin as an alternative to amoxicillin in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections. Clin Drug Investig. 1998;15(6):461-6. PubMed
  • 4. Kassaye L, Genete G. Evaluation and comparison of in-vitro dissolution profiles for different brands of amoxicillin capsules. Afr Health Sci. 2013 Jun;13(2):369-75

Last updated: May, 2015

Good to know


  • Ampicillin was the first real step forward in the search for antibiotics with a broader spectrum of antimicrobial activity. Further research led to amoxicillin, with improved absorption and longer half-life.
  • It was introduced by Beecham Research Laboratories in 1972 under the brand name Amoxil.
  • Amoxicillin is one of the most widely prescribed antibiotics in the United States, being a popular treatment for strep throat, otitis, and sinusitis.