Sounds like 'amox-i-cil-lin'

Easy-to-read medicine information about amoxicillin – what is it, how to take amoxicillin safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine

Also called
  • Antibiotic (to treat infections)
  • Penicillin antibiotic
  • Amoxil®
  • Amoxycillin (Apotex)®
  • Apo-Amoxi®
  • Ibiamox®
  • Ospamox®

What is amoxicillin?

  • Amoxicillin is a commonly used antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections such as strep sore throats, chest infections and ear infections.
  • It works by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria (bugs) that cause the infection.


  • The dose of amoxicillin depends on the infection being treated.
  • The usual dose is 250 or 500 milligrams three times a day.

How to take amoxicillin

  • Swallow the capsule with a glass of water.
  • You can take amoxicillin with or without food.
  • Your doctor will advise you on how long to take amoxicillin for (usually 5 to 10 days).
  • If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day.
  • But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.
  • Keep taking amoxicillin until you finish all the capsules. Do not stop taking it, even if you feel better after a few days.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, amoxicillin can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine..

Side effects What should I do?
  • Nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting
  • Try taking amoxicllin after a meal
  • Diarrhoea (loose, watery stools)     
  • This may settle after a few days.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Vaginal itching, soreness or discharge (thrush)
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist
  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as skin rash, itching, swelling of the lips, face, and mouth or difficulty breathing
  • Stop taking amoxicillin
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine


Amoxicillin may interact with a few medications and herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting amoxicillin.

Learn more

New Zealand Formulary Patient Information:


Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Dr J Bycroft. Health Navigator NZ Last reviewed: 08 Jan 2015