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What Is Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Potassium ES Used For?

How Does the Medication Work?

Amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium ES contains two different medications, amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium (also known as clavulanic acid, or simply clavulanate). Amoxicillin belongs to a group of medications known as aminopenicillins, which is part of a larger group of medications known as beta-lactam antibiotics (named after the ring-like "lactam" structure of these antibiotics).
Amoxicillin works by stopping bacteria from making cell walls, which eventually causes the bacteria to die. However, many bacteria have developed a resistance to amoxicillin (and similar antibiotics) by producing enzymes called beta-lactamases. Beta-lactamases (produced by bacteria) break the beta-lactam ring, making amoxicillin (and similar antibiotics) ineffective.
The other component of amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium ES (clavulanate) is known as a beta-lactamase inhibitor. Clavulanate stops the bacterial enzymes from breaking down the amoxicillin molecule. Clavulanate itself has no significant antibacterial activity; it merely helps to prevent amoxicillin from being broken down by bacteria that would otherwise be resistant to amoxicillin. Essentially, clavulanate "augments" the activity of amoxicillin (hence the name Augmentin).

Can Adults Use It?

Amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium ES has not been approved for adults. It should not be used in place of Augmentin tablets for adults who cannot swallow the tablets, as amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium ES and Augmentin tablets do not contain the same amounts of the active ingredients.

Off-Label Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium ES for treating something other than the conditions listed in this article. This is called an "off-label" use. Possible off-label uses of amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium ES include:
  • Treating any other type of infection
  • Preventing any type of infection
  • Using this drug in adults.
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Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Potassium ES Information

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