Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Potassium XR
Important Information for Your Healthcare ProviderYou should talk to your healthcare provider prior to taking this drug if you have:
- Liver disease, including liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- A penicillin allergy
- Any other allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Augmentin XR and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Augmentin XR and Breastfeeding).
Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Potassium XR to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
As the name implies, amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium XR contains two different medications: amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium (also known as clavulanic acid or simply clavulanate). Amoxicillin belongs to a group of drugs 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 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 XR (clavulanate) is known as a beta-lactamase inhibitor. Clavulanate stops the bacterial enzymes from breaking down the amoxicillin molecule. By itself, it 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 "Augmentin XR" -- the brand name of amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium XR.