Amoxicillin in pregnancy: what it is, when to take it and what are the risks

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Amoxicillin in pregnancy

During pregnancy, the organism of the mother and that of the growing baby are closely interconnected: the nutrients present in food, drugs, nicotine and even viruses or bacteria can cross the placenta to reach the fetus. The doctor will tell us which drugs we can safely take during pregnancy and which ones to avoid and this also applies to antibiotics, which are necessary to treat any infections contracted during the nine months. So let's see if we can take theamoxicillin in pregnancy and with what precautions.

In this article

  • What is amoxicillin and when is it taken in pregnancy?
  • Amoxicillin in the first trimester
  • Amoxicillin in the third trimester
  • dosage
  • Are there any risks to the fetus?
  • What are the first choice antibiotics in pregnancy?
  • What drugs to avoid in pregnancy?

What is amoxicillin and when is it taken in pregnancy?

Amoxicillin is a prescription drug used to treat certain types of bacterial infections. It is, therefore, a antibiotic belonging to the family of penicillin which must be taken only on prescription from a doctor and with very precise doses and times.

Amoxicillin is prescribed for bacterial infections such as:

  • pneumonia,
  • bronchitis,
  • urinary tract infections (UTIs),
  • sexually transmitted infections,
  • sepsis,
  • dental infections,
  • infections of the skin, throat and ear.

It is often prescribed to expectant mothers to treat cystitis, a common urinary tract infection during pregnancy.

Amoxicillin in the first trimester

Amoxicillin is considered a safe drug for pregnancy: in animal studies there have been no reports of harm to developing fetuses from amoxicillin. This drug is, therefore, considered a low risk and can be taken in any trimester of pregnancy. However, it is good to remember that the first trimester is very delicate: the organs are forming and we must be very careful in taking inappropriate drugs.

Read also: Paracetamol in pregnancy

Amoxicillin in the third trimester

In third quarter the child is almost fully formed and generally the risk of malformation and death lowers. Amoxicillin can be taken safely as long as you are really right and following all the directions of your doctor.


Amoxicillin is taken orally in tablets. There are also liquid formulations, such as syrup, which are prescribed for children.

La dose of antibiotic to be taken must be determined by the doctor based on the infection to be treated: the doctor will also indicate how to take the drug, generally twice a day, morning and evening, and the duration of treatment.

The dosage depends not only on the type of infection but also on the weight and age of the patient. Generally the recommended dose for adult patients and for children and adolescents with a body weight of 40 kg or more is 875 mg - 1 g amoxicillin every 8 or 12 hours.

But beware: the antibiotic should be taken only on the advice of the doctor and carefully following his prescriptions.

Are there any risks to the fetus?

As we said amoxicillin is quite an antibiotic sure and can be used during pregnancy, always only after having heard the opinion of your doctor. And the new AIFA assessments confirm the safety profile: from the most recent evidence there are no new reports of any anomalies found, compared to the expected one, and the possibility of their use is therefore confirmed, following consultation with your doctor, even in the nine months of gestation and lactation.

What are the first choice antibiotics in pregnancy?

The files of AIFA, the Agenzia Del Paesena of the drug, on some classes of antibiotics have recently been updated: the document states that "Amoxicillin and ampicillin are considered the first choice antibiotics in pregnancy, while Clindamycin, indicated for example for the treatment of Choriamniositis, is to be used when the administration of Penicillins, Cephalosporins and Macrolides is not effective, therefore secondarily. "

What drugs to avoid in pregnancy?

A survey conducted by AIFA shows that there are still many drugs that are prescribed during pregnancy. The most prescribed active ingredients are:

  • folic acid (34,6%)
  • progesterone (19%)
  • ferrous sulphate (18,8%)
  • amoxicillin / clavulanic acid (11,5%).

These are mostly safe drugs that are prescribed for specific reasons. But it must not be abused because any active ingredient can reach the fetus.

Among the drugs to avoid in pregnancy, because teratogenic, therefore able to increase the risk of fetal malformations, we remember:

  • Isotretinoin: a derivative of vitamin A found in many products and drugs for the treatment of severe acne;
  • Antiepileptics (valproic acid) - a drug used for epilepsy;
  • Dicumarin anticoagulants (Warfarin and derivatives): if used in the first part of pregnancy they could cause facial deformities and mental retardation, while if taken towards the end of gestation they can increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Tetracicline: Little-used antibiotics that can impair the growth of calcium-dependent tissues, such as teeth.

Questions and answers

What happens if you take antibiotics while you are pregnant?

Some antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, can be used during pregnancy without any particular risk. However, to avoid a return of the infection or the development of a drug resistance, it must not be abused, it is necessary to carefully follow the doctor's prescriptions regarding dosage and duration of therapy.

When does the antibiotic work?

It depends on the type of infection and how the patient's immune system responds, what is certain is that a single tablet is not enough, but the entire treatment must be completed: never stop therapy just because you begin to get better.

  • drugs in pregnancy
  • antibiotics in pregnancy
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