Amoxicillin vs Augmentin For Sinus Infection

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For patients with sinusitis, certain antibiotics that target and kill the bacteria responsible for the infection can help in relieving symptoms and treating the condition. Amoxicillin and Augmentin are two such drugs prescribed for sinusitis. Both of these belong to a class of medications called penicillins; however, their mechanism differs slightly due to their composition.

Amoxicillin is used as it effectively targets a wide range of bacteria, including those typically causing sinus infections. It's often chosen because it's generally well-tolerated by most individuals.

Augmentin, on the other hand, contains amoxicillin along with another ingredient called clavulanate potassium. This addition enhances its effectiveness against certain types of stubborn bacteria resistant to amoxicillin alone. Therefore, Augmentin might be more effective if your doctor suspects antibiotic resistance could complicate treatment.

What is Amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin (a penicillin antibiotic) was one of the first antibiotics used widely for bacterial infections, especially those affecting the ear, nose and throat. It is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that works by stopping bacterial growth through preventing them from making essential proteins. Amoxicillin was first approved by the FDA in 1972. This drug typically has fewer side effects compared to other antibiotics due to its ability to target a wide range of bacteria without impacting much on our body's normal flora.

Augmentin, on the other hand, contains amoxicillin along with clavulanic acid - an inhibitor that protects amoxicillin from being broken down by certain bacteria which produce beta-lactamase enzymes. Augmentin can therefore treat sinus infections caused by strains of bacteria resistant to amoxicillin alone. While both drugs are effective against sinus infection-causing bacteria like Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae, Augmentin might be prescribed when there's a likelihood or confirmed presence of resistant strains.

What conditions is Amoxicillin approved to treat?

Amoxicillin and Augmentin are both approved for the treatment of bacterial sinusitis:

  • Amoxicillin is often used as a first-line therapy because it covers most strains of bacteria that typically cause sinus infections.
  • Augmentin, which is amoxicillin combined with clavulanic acid, is prescribed when the infection may be caused by bacteria resistant to amoxicillin alone. It's also used in severe or recurrent cases of sinusitis.

How does Amoxicillin help with these illnesses?

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic that helps manage bacterial sinus infections by attacking the cell wall of bacteria, ultimately causing them to break down and die. It does this by inhibiting a key enzyme (transpeptidase) involved in the cross-linking process during the synthesis of peptidoglycan, a major component of bacterial cell walls. Bacteria cannot survive without a functional cell wall.

Augmentin, on the other hand, contains two active ingredients: amoxicillin and clavulanic acid. The combination works synergistically against a broader range of bacteria compared to amoxicillin alone because clavulanic acid blocks β-lactamases—enzymes produced by some resistant bacteria that can degrade antibiotics like amoxicillin before they have time to work. Therefore, with Augmentin's dual action mechanism—amoxicillin attacking bacterial cells while clavulanic acid protects it from degradation—it can limit progression or complications of sinus infections more effectively than Amoxicillin alone for certain populations or types of infection.

What is Augmentin For Sinus Infection?

Augmentin, a brand name for the combination of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium, is an antibiotic that operates by inhibiting bacterial cell wall synthesis. It works by combining the power of two drugs: amoxicillin, which is effective against many common bacteria but can be deactivated by certain resistant strains; and clavulanate potassium, which blocks this resistance mechanism. Augmentin was first approved by the FDA in 1984 and has since become a widely used treatment for various bacterial infections including sinusitis.

As Augmentin contains amoxicillin as one of its components, it carries similar potential side effects such as diarrhea or mild stomach pain. However, because it also includes clavulanate potassium to enhance its effectiveness against resistant bacteria strains, it may lead to more potent side effects like liver damage - though this remains uncommon. Due to its broader spectrum of action compared to stand-alone Amoxicillin, Augmentin can be especially beneficial in treating sinus infections caused by bacteria that are resistant to other antibiotics.

What conditions is Augmentin For Sinus Infection approved to treat?

Augmentin is particularly effective in the treatment of sinus infections and has been approved by the FDA for this purpose. Its two active ingredients, amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium, work together to combat a broader range of bacteria than amoxicillin alone can handle. This includes bacteria that produce an enzyme called beta-lactamase, which makes them resistant to many antibiotics including amoxicillin. Therefore:

  • Acute bacterial sinusitis caused by certain types of bacteria
  • Chronic or severe forms of sinus infection where more resistant strains may be present

are effectively managed with Augmentin.

How does Augmentin For Sinus Infection help with these illnesses?

Augmentin is a combination antibiotic that incorporates both amoxicillin and clavulanic acid. This dual-action drug plays an important role in the treatment of bacterial sinus infections, as it can combat a wider spectrum of bacteria compared to amoxicillin alone. The presence of clavulanic acid in Augmentin inhibits beta-lactamase, an enzyme produced by bacteria that usually enables them to resist penicillins like amoxicillin. By blocking this enzyme's action, Augmentin allows the amoxicillin component to effectively eradicate resistant strains of bacteria. Consequently, when faced with complex or stubborn sinus infections where other antibiotics may have failed or if there's risk for resistance, physicians often turn to Augmentin due to its broader antibacterial coverage and enhanced effectiveness.

How effective are both Amoxicillin and Augmentin For Sinus Infection?

Both amoxicillin and Augmentin (amoxicillin-clavulanate) have proven track records of success in treating bacterial sinus infections, and were initially approved by the FDA only a few years apart. These antibiotics work against a similar range of bacteria, but may be prescribed under different circumstances due to their differing resistance profiles.

The effectiveness of amoxicillin and Augmentin in managing symptoms of sinusitis was directly studied in several clinical trials.[1][2] Both drugs demonstrated similar efficacy in resolving symptoms as well as comparable safety profiles. In these studies, most metrics used to measure efficacy for treating sinusitis did not significantly differ between patients receiving amoxicillin or Augmentin.

A 2004 review indicated that amoxicillin is effective at clearing infection starting from the first few days of treatment.[3] Its side effect profile is considered favorable over many other antibiotics — most commonly including mild gastrointestinal upset — and it is generally well tolerated even among elderly populations or those with kidney disease. Amoxicillin has become one of the most widely-prescribed antibiotics worldwide.

On the other hand, some evidence suggests that Augmentin may be more effective than placebo treatments[4], although its use typically comes into play when there's reason to believe the infection might be caused by bacteria resistant to plain amoxicillin — specifically strains producing beta-lactamase enzymes which can break down penicillins like amoxicllin. Nonetheless, because it contains two drugs (compared to one for regular amoxcilllin), Augmenting carries an elevated risk for side effects such as diarrhea.

In conclusion, both medications are powerful tools against bacterial sinus infections; your healthcare provider will consider factors like local antibiotic resistance patterns or previous allergy history before making a recommendation on which medication would suit you best.

Sources: [1]: [2]: [3]: [4]:

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Amoxicillin typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Amoxicillin for sinus infections typically range from 500-875 mg every 12 hours or 250-500 mg every 8 hours, while Augmentin is usually prescribed at a dosage of 500 mg/125 mg to 875mg/125mg twice daily or one immediate release tablet (2000mg/125mg) once a day. Research has shown that these dosages are generally effective in treating bacterial sinus infections for most people. In pediatric patients, the dose can be started at lower levels based on weight and age, then increased after a few days if there's no response. However, exceeding the maximum recommended dosage can lead to adverse side effects and should be avoided.

At what dose is Augmentin For Sinus Infection typically prescribed?

For sinus infections, Augmentin treatment is typically initiated at a dose of 500 mg every 12 hours or 250 mg every 8 hours. If required, the dosage can then be increased to a more robust regimen of Augmentin ES-600 (600 mg/5 mL), taken at a measure of 22.5 mL twice daily for patients who weigh less than 40 kg and have severe or refractory infection. The maximum dose is determined by the severity and type of infection being treated but does not usually exceed a total daily dose of approximately 2000mg/125mg in adults. This may be adjusted if there's no response to initial treatment after a few days.

What are the most common side effects for Amoxicillin?

When comparing amoxicillin to Augmentin for a sinus infection, both are antibiotics that can successfully treat the condition. However, they come with different side effects:

  • Nausea and vomiting: Both medications can cause these symptoms, but they may be more common with Augmentin.
  • Diarrhea: This is a common side effect for both drugs; however, it tends to occur more frequently when taking Augmentin.
  • Skin rash: Some patients might experience skin rash while taking either of these medications. If you notice hives or difficulty breathing in addition to the rash, seek immediate medical help as this could indicate an allergic reaction.
  • Yeast infections: These are possible with both amoxicillin and Augmentin because they can disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in your body.
  • Insomnia or dizziness: While less common, some people report feeling dizzy or having trouble sleeping while on these medicines.

Remember that while these side effects sound alarming, many people take these antibiotics without experiencing any adverse reactions at all. However, if you do notice any significant changes during treatment with either drug (or after), don't hesitate to contact your healthcare provider.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Amoxicillin?

Although Amoxicillin and Augmentin are both antibiotics used to treat sinus infections, there can be side effects:

  • Allergic reactions: This can include symptoms such as hives, difficulty breathing or swallowing, swelling of the face or throat, and severe skin reactions. If these occur seek immediate medical attention.
  • Gastrointestinal issues: Severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody.
  • Liver problems - jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), loss of appetite, upper stomach pain
  • Kidney problems – little or no urination; painful urination; swelling in your feet or ankles; feeling tired
  • Unusual bleeding - nosebleeds, bleeding gums
  • Neurological problems – severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness Severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat,burning in your eyes.

These side effects are not common but if experienced it's crucial to immediately contact a healthcare provider. Always remember that antibiotics should only be used when prescribed by a health professional due its potential for causing antibiotic resistance when misused.

What are the most common side effects for Augmentin For Sinus Infection?

When used for sinus infections, Augmentin may cause the following side effects:

  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort or diarrhea due to its antibiotic properties
  • Changes in taste and a dry mouth
  • Mild skin rashes or itching
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Anxiety or confusion resulting from prolonged use of the medication
  • Increased heart rate in some rare cases
  • Possibly leading to joint pain due to an allergic reaction
    These side effects are not common but it's important to consult your healthcare provider if any new symptoms arise during treatment.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Augmentin For Sinus Infection?

While Augmentin is a commonly prescribed medication for sinus infection and generally considered safe, it can sometimes lead to severe side effects. These may include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat.
  • A severe skin reaction that causes fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes and skin pain followed by a red or purple rash that spreads (especially on the face or upper body) causing blistering and peeling.
  • Liver problems which can be indicated by symptoms like nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite/upper stomach ache, tiredness/weakness/dark urine/yellowing of the eyes/skin (jaundice).
  • Diarrhea that is watery or contains blood might occur due to intestinal issues.
  • Unusual changes in behavior/mood/confusion/easy bruising/unusual bleeding/persistent sore throat/fever.

If you experience any of these symptoms while taking Augmentin for Sinus Infection you should seek medical attention immediately.

Contraindications for Amoxicillin and Augmentin For Sinus Infection?

Both Amoxicillin and Augmentin can effectively treat sinus infections, but like other antibiotics, they may have side effects. If you notice symptoms such as diarrhea that is watery or bloody, yellowing of your skin or eyes (jaundice), easy bruising or bleeding, severe tingling or numbness, muscle weakness, new signs of infection (fever, chills) seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Amoxicillin nor Augmentin should be taken if you are allergic to penicillins or cephalosporins. Always inform your physician about all the medications you are taking; particular drugs like allopurinol and probenecid may interact with these antibiotics.

For those with kidney disease, liver disease or a history of mononucleosis also known as 'mono', dosages need to be adjusted accordingly. Pregnant women and nursing moms should consult their doctors before starting these medications due to potential risks for the baby.

Furthermore remember not stop medication prematurely even if symptoms improve in order to ensure complete elimination of bacteria thus preventing resistance.

How much do Amoxicillin and Augmentin For Sinus Infection cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price of 30 tablets of Amoxil (500 mg), which is a brand-name for amoxicillin, averages around $15, which works out to about $0.50/day.
  • The price of 20 tablets of Augmentin (875-125 mg) is about $60 on average, working out to approximately $3/day.

Thus, if you are in the higher dosage range for Amoxil (i.e., 1000 mg/day or higher), then brand-name Augmentin can be more expensive on a per-day treatment basis. Please note that cost should not be a primary consideration in determining which antibiotic is right for your sinus infection; efficacy and possible side effects should guide your decision.

For generic versions:

  • Generic amoxicillin (500 mg capsules) costs between $10 and $17 for a supply of 30 capsules. This equates to roughly between $0.33 and $0.57 per day.
  • For generic Augmentin (amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium), prices vary widely but generally don't exceed about two dollars per tablet ($2/day).

Please keep in mind that while both medications are used to treat bacterial infections including sinusitis, they aren't interchangeable - each has its own specific uses and potential side effects. Always consult with healthcare professionals before starting any new medication regimen.

Popularity of Amoxicillin and Augmentin For Sinus Infection

Amoxicillin, a popular antibiotic available in both brand name versions and as a generic drug, was prescribed to approximately 40 million people in the US in 2020. Approximately 10% of these prescriptions were for sinus infections. Amoxicillin is often the first-line treatment for sinusitis due to its broad-spectrum coverage against common bacteria causing this condition.

Augmentin, which is a combination product containing amoxicillin and clavulanic acid, was prescribed to around 14 million patients in the United States during that same year. Augmentin accounts for just under 15% of all primary care antibiotic prescriptions meant specifically for treating sinus infections. It's usually considered when there are concerns about resistance or if symptoms persist after initial therapy with amoxicillin alone.

While both drugs have been used extensively over years, their prevalence has remained stable since they are standard treatments within their respective categories.


Both amoxicillin and Augmentin (amoxicillin/clavulanate) are widely used, effective treatments for bacterial sinus infections. These antibiotics have been proven in numerous clinical studies to be more effective than placebo treatments at resolving symptoms of bacterial sinusitis. Their mechanisms of action differ slightly; while both contain amoxicillin which inhibits the formation of bacterial cell walls leading to their death, Augmentin also includes clavulanic acid, an inhibitor that protects against beta-lactamase producing bacteria.

Amoxicillin is often considered a first-line treatment option due to its effectiveness and lower potential for side effects. Augmentin may be recommended when there's a risk or presence of beta-lactamase producing bacteria that are resistant to amoxicillin alone.

Both drugs are available in generic form which can result in significant cost savings especially for patients paying out-of-pocket. Both medications may require several days before symptom improvement is noticed.

Side effects with these two drugs tend towards gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and upset stomach, although they're generally well-tolerated by most people. With Augmentin there's a slightly increased chance of gastrointestinal side effects due to the additional component – clavulanic acid. Patients must monitor their response closely upon starting treatment and should seek immediate medical attention if they experience severe side effects or allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing or swelling.