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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Irregular, rapid, or labored breathing, lightheadedness or sudden fainting, joint pain, fever, severe abdominal pain and cramping with watery or bloody stools, severe allergic reaction (marked by sudden swelling of the lips, tongue, face, or throat; breathing difficulty; skin rash, itching, or hives), unusual bleeding or bruising, yellowish tinge to eyes or skin. Call your doctor immediately.
Common

Mild rash, mild diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, vaginal discharge and itching, pain or white patches in the mouth or on the tongue, pain at the site of injection.
Less Common

Diminished urine output, chills, weakness, fatigue.
Ampicillin Sodium/Sulbactam Sodium


Drug Class:
Penicillin antibiotic

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: No

Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Injection (available primarily in hospitals and nursing facilities)

Why Prescribed
Ampicillin sodium/sulbactam sodium is used to treat moderately severe bacterial infections requiring hospitalization. These infections are frequently caused by bacteria that are likely to be resistant to penicillin and not treatable with oral antibiotics alone.

How It Works
Ampicillin blocks the formation of bacterial cell walls, rendering bacteria unable to multiply and spread; sulbactam is added to protect ampicillin from the effects of a destructive enzyme (betalactamase) produced by certain drug-resistant strains of bacteria.

Range and Frequency
Adults: 1.5 to 3 g injected into a muscle or vein every 6 hours. Children age one and older: 300 mg per 2.2 lbs (1 kg) of body weight per day into a vein in divided doses every 6 hours.

Onset of Effect
Immediate with intravenous injection; unknown for intramuscular injection.

Duration of Action
Unknown.

Dietary Advice
No special restrictions.

Storage
Not applicable.

Missed Dose
Not applicable; the dosage schedule is determined by a doctor or other health care professional.

Stopping the Drug
The decision to stop treatment with this drug will be made by your doctor.

Prolonged Use
Therapy with ampicillin sodium/sulbactam sodium is usually completed within seven to 14 days. Infections in hospitalized patients may be more serious and can respond unpredictably to treatment. But treatment may also result in rapid improvement, and your doctor may stop intravenous or intramuscular ampicillin sodium/sulbactam sodium earlier than seven to 14 days and begin oral therapy with another appropriate antibiotic in preparation for your discharge.

Over 60
Adverse reactions may be more likely and more severe in older patients.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Not applicable; therapy with this drug generally requires hospitalization.

Alcohol
Avoid alcohol.

Pregnancy
Adequate studies of the use of penicillin antibiotics during pregnancy have not been done. Consult your doctor concerning the use of ampicillin sodium/sulbactam sodium if you are pregnant.

Breast Feeding
Avoid or discontinue the use of ampicillin sodium/sulbactam sodium while nursing.

Infants and Children
This drug is not recommended for infants and children under age one.

Special Concerns
Anyone who has had a prior allergic reaction to penicillin or any penicillin antibiotic should not take this drug. Those who are prone to asthma, hay fever, hives, or allergies are at increased risk of having an allergic reaction to it.

Overdose Symptoms
Seizures may occur with very high doses; overdose is nonetheless unlikely.

What to Do
Call your doctor or emergency medical services (EMS) immediately if you suspect an overdose.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking aminoglycosides, ACE inhibitors, diuretics, potassium supplements or potassium-containing medications, anticoagulants or other anticlotting drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, sulfinpyrazone, cholestyramine, colestipol, oral contraceptives, methotrexate, probenecid, allopurinol, or rifampin.

Food Interactions
No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions
Consult your doctor if you have a history of allergies, asthma, bleeding disorders (such as hemophilia), congestive heart failure, gastrointestinal disorders (especially colitis associated with the use of antibiotics), infectious mononucleosis, or impaired kidney function.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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