The urinary tract comprised by the urethra, ureters, bladder and kidneys is one of the body systems susceptible to bacterial attack and if so happens, the condition is called Urinary tract infection. Women are more prone to falling a victim to UTI than men (related to the short length of urethra in females). The causative organisms responsible for this infection are Escherichia coli, fungi or parasites.
The clinical features of urinary tract infection are pain or burning sensation during urination, increase in both the frequency and urge of micturition. Additional symptoms include the presence of blood in urine and general malaise.
Uncomplicated cases of Urinary tract infection are easy to treat and respond well to administration of a short course of antibiotic medications. Many physicians prefer using an antibiotic known as Amxocillin. As a patient, you must know the relevant details regarding this particular drug, which can be found in this article.
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Mechanism of Action of Amoxicillin
Amoxicillin, popularly marketed as Amoxil, Trimox and Alphamox, is a drug that belongs to the broad category of antibiotics known as Semin synthetic penicillins. Similar to the other antibiotics clubbed under this category, Amoxicillin (initially called Amoxycillin) exerts bacteriolysis through the same mode of action.
The bacterial species which are responsible for initiating the development of urinary tract infection form walls around their cell structure. This ensures their optimal survival and promotes bacterial cell multiplication. Amoxicillin is a potent drug, and in its presence, bacteria cannot form the cell wall. This disrupts the osmotic concentration within the bacterial cell, leading to immediate cell death and resolution of bacterial infection.
Amoxicillin Targets Bacteria
The vast number of bacterial species against which Amoxicillin is most effective include Haemophilus influenza, Escherichia coli, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Pneumococci species, certain variants of Staphylococci and Streptococci.
It has a moderate spectrum of bactericidal activity and thus proves to be of great use in not only cases of Urinary tract infection, but also intestinal ulcers, infections affecting the skin, ear or throat. Even cases of bronchitis and pnuemonia show a positive response to this semi synthetic antibiotic.
Route of Administration for Amoxicillin
Majority of patients diagnosed with urinary tract infection are prescribed Amoxicillin, either in the form of capsules or oral pills. The other forms in which the drug is made available are chewable tablets (for pediatric use), powder or liquid drops for oral suspension as well as for intravenous drip. Unlike other antibiotics, the bioavailability of Amoxicillin is unaffected by food, thus can be ingested with or without food.
The only exception to this is when patients suffer from stomach indigestion after having the antibiotic. For them, the medicine must be taken along with a meal. One must stick to the entire antibiotic course and not leave it midway or else the infection will not subside completely.
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Side Effects of Amoxicillin
As with all the other drugs from the above mentioned antibiotic class, patients taking doses of Amoxicillin can experience non serious but common side effects such as nausea and vomiting. Thankfully, these side effects are nothing to be alarmed about. Some of the uncommon side effects include lightheaded feeling, inability to sleep (or insomina), anxiety and mental confusion.
Although the onset and incidence of the below mentioned adverse effects is minimal, these changes can lead to further complication and thus require immediate medical attention and care. If a person on amoxicillin develops an allergic reaction, he or she may show the following symptoms. The sudden onset is clinically marked by an altered mental state, intensely itchy skin rash, followed by fever like sensation and nauseatic feeling.
Other potentially serious side effects caused by Amoxicillin include jaundice, diarrhoea, painful cramps in stomach, presence of blood in stools and dark coloured urine. In case the patient on amoxicillin notices the above given changes or blistered, inflamed skin that easily peels off along with vaginal discharge, he or she must discontinue the antibiotic immediately and inform the concerned doctor for further aid.
Non Allergic Amoxicillin Skin Rash Formation
In 3 to 10 % of all pediatric patients on Amoxicillin and few adults, a late onset skin rash may develop. If the itchy skin rash develops 72 hours after beginning the antibiotic course, it is commonly referred to as ‘Amoxicillin rash’ and medically as ‘Amoxicillin-induced Morbilliform rash’.
Amoxicillin is no different from other medicines when it comes to drug interactions. Such drug interactions may or may not lead to serious reactions. The effectiveness of Amoxicillin may be diluted in case the patient is on concurrent medication such as Sulfonamides, Chloramphenicol, macrolide group of antibiotics as well as Tetracycline. Amoxicillin has been reported to interact with oral contraceptives too. Patients takin anti-coagulants (for example- Warfarin) are at an increased risk of experiencing prolonged bleeding.
The best way to avoid unwanted drug interactions is to present our doctor with all the pertinent details about the prescription, non prescription and herbal medicines you are taking alongside (if any). Although Amocillin is considered safe for pregnant women, your doctor needs to be informed.
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