Drug vs. Drug

Amoxicillin vs Augmentin: Main Differences and Similarities

SingleCare Logo for author page By | January 24, 2019

Amoxicillin and Augmentin are similar antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections. Augmentin contains amoxicillin combined with another ingredient, clavulanate, for higher potency. Both Amoxicillin and Augmentin are part of a class of antibiotics called beta-lactams. These antibiotics can be prescribed for children and adults to treat a broad range of infections. Though they are similar medications, there are some differences to review.

Amoxicillin

Amoxicillin is the generic name for Amoxil. It is usually used to treat common bacterial infections in children. This is because amoxicillin has a high rate of effectiveness and low risk of serious side effects. Amoxicillin can treat ear, nose, and throat infections, lower respiratory tract infections, skin infections, and urinary tract infections.

Amoxicillin comes in generic 250 mg or 500 mg oral capsules. Other formulations are available such as oral suspensions, tablets, and chewable tablets. These other formulations may be particularly useful for children and those with trouble swallowing. Amoxicillin can also be flavored for easier administration.

Augmentin

Augmentin is the brand name for amoxicillin combined with clavulanate. Clavulanate is a beta-lactamase inhibitor that helps block bacterial enzymes from inactivating amoxicillin. Augmentin can treat similar infections to amoxicillin plus other harder to treat infections such as: sinusitis, pyelonephritis, and skin infections among others.

Augmentin can be given as an oral suspension, tablet, chewable tablet, or extended-release tablet. Strengths vary from 250 mg/125 mg to 875 mg/125 mg of amoxicillin/clavulanate. Depending on the infection and the individual, dosing is widely varied as well.

Amoxicillin vs Augmentin Side by Side Comparison

Amoxicillin and Augmentin are two similar antibiotics. Although they are both in the same antibiotic class, they also have some differences. See below for further comparison.

Amoxicillin Augmentin
Prescribed For
  • Ear, nose, and throat infection
  • Gonorrhea
  • H. pylori infection
  • Skin and soft tissue infections
  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Pharyngitis
  • Genitourinary tract infections
  • Sinusitis
  • Bacterial endocarditis
  • Ear, nose, and throat infection
  • Skin and soft tissue infections
  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Acute otitis media
  • Impetigo
  • Sinusitis
  • Genitourinary tract infections
Drug Classification
  • Beta-lactam
  • Beta-lactam
Manufacturer
  • Generic
Common Side Effects
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Changes in taste
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Rash
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
Is there a generic?
Is it covered by insurance?
  • Varies according to your provider
  • Varies according to your provider
Dosage Forms
  • Oral tablet
  • Oral tablet, chewable
  • Oral capsule
  • Oral powder for suspension
  • Oral tablet
  • Oral tablet, chewable
  • Oral tablet, extended-release
  • Oral powder for suspension
Average Cash Price
  • $9 (per 14  tablets)
  • $966 (per 20 tablets)
SingleCare Discount Price
Drug Interactions
  • Probenecid
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Macrolides
  • Sulfonamides
  • Tetracyclines
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Methotrexate
  • Warfarin
  • Probenecid
  • Anticoagulants
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Methotrexate
  • Warfarin
  • Macrolides
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Sulfonamides
  • Tetracyclines
Can I use while planning pregnancy, pregnant, or breastfeeding?
  • Amoxicillin is in Pregnancy Category B. It does not pose a risk for fetal harm. Consult a doctor regarding steps to take if planning pregnancy or breastfeeding.
  • Augmentin is in Pregnancy Category B. It does not pose a risk for fetal harm. Consult a doctor regarding steps to take if planning pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Summary

Amoxicillin and Augmentin are similar beta-lactam antibiotics that can treat similar infections. However, Augmentin is usually reserved for harder to treat infections compared to amoxicillin. These harder to treat infections may include kidney infections or severe skin abscesses.

Amoxicillin and Augmentin also differ in how they are formulated. Augmentin is available in an extended-release form which may be dosed differently according to your doctor’s instruction. Both medications share similar side effects and drug interactions. They should be used with caution when taking other antibiotics and blood thinning medications.

Because of their similarities and possible side effects, both antibiotics should be reviewed by your doctor. Depending on the infection, your doctor may prescribe one antibiotic over the other.