What Is Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Potassium XR Used For?

How Does Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Potassium XR Work?

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.

Can Children Use It?

Amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium XR is approved for use in individuals age seven years and older who weigh at least 88 pounds. Other forms, such as the chewable tablets or liquid, are more suitable for young children, as they are available in lower strengths and in forms that are easier for children to swallow.

Is Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Potassium XR Used for Off-Label Reasons?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this product for treating something other than the conditions listed in this article. This is called an "off-label" use. Using amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium XR to treat any other types of infection other than community-acquired pneumonia or sinus infections would be considered off-label uses. Also, using the drug to prevent any type of infection is considered an off-label amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium XR use.
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Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Potassium XR Information

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