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  • Amoxicillin

    Summary

    Amoxicillin is an antibiotic. Antibiotics work by suppressing the growth of bacteria that contribute to acne symptoms.

    Amoxicillin is available in Oral formulations. Topical antibiotics can be used to treat all types of acne, while oral antibiotics are usually reserved for patients with serious symptoms.

    Overall, Amoxicillin is rated as a Good treatment for acne. Users report that, Amoxicillin is Mostly Effective for improving acne symptoms and that this medication tends to have Mild side effects.

    Ratings Breakdown

    Amoxicillin RatingsScore
    Overall4.44
    Effectiveness3.88
    Side Effects1.53
    User Recommended53.06%
    Antibiotic Susceptibility4.60
    Antibiotic Resistance0.00
    Editor Rating4.25
    Table Key: Green is Good, Red is Bad

    Do you have experience with this treatment? Share it!



    The Basics

    Amoxicillin Composite Score

    Amoxicillin (Amoxil) Overall Score – Scale: 1 (WORST) to 5 (BEST)

    Type of Treatment: Rx MedicationAntibiotic (Oral)Penicillin Family

    How it Works: Amoxicillin is an antibiotic. Antibiotics can improve acne symptoms by limiting the growth of bacteria that contribute to Acne Vulgaris.

    When is this medication used? Amoxicillin is usually reserved for the treatment of mild to moderate acne symptoms (Acne Types: 2-4). Amoxicillin may also be used to treat non-typical acne (eg. Acne Fulminans).

    Frequency of Amoxicillin Resistant P. acnes Bacteria: Rare. (What does this mean?)

    Official Name:  Amoxicillin
    Popular Brand Names: Amoxil, Hiconcil, Ospamox, Trimox and Wymox
    Related Medications: Penicillin, Ampicillin, Augmentin, Piperacillin.

    Amoxicillin and Acne Treatment

    Amoxicillin (Amoxil) Capsules

    Amoxicillin is an antibiotic that is occasionally used for the treatment of acne vulgaris.  The tetracycline family antibiotics (eg. Doxycycline and Minocycline) are much more commonly used to treat acne.   Many patients report significant improvements in their acne symptoms when taking amoxicillin (most of the time amoxicillin is prescribed for a different infection). Amoxicillin is generally well tolerated, although allergic reactions to this medication are possible.

    Research studies on the antibiotic susceptibility of Propionibacterium acnes (the primary acne-causing bacteria) indicate that these bacteria are very sensitive to most types of Penicillin Family antibiotics, including amoxicillin.  However, there is minimal scientific research on the clinical use of amoxicillin as a treatment for Acne Vulgaris.   Some dermatologists use amoxicillin to treat acne patients that fail to respond to other treatments.

    Summary: Amoxicillin  is highly toxic to P. acnes bacteria in the laboratory, but little scientific research has been done to test its efficacy in acne patients.  The fact that many patients and dermatologists have reported favorable results suggests that amoxicillin might be a good treatment option for some acne sufferers.

    Important Note: The information provided on this site is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any diseases. The Science of Acne strongly encourages you to consult a qualified medical professional before making any treatment decisions. For the complete disclaimer, click here.

    Amoxicillin Patient Reviews

    How Helpful is Amoxicillin? Scale: 1 (worst) to 5 (best)

    Most acne patients report positive results from amoxicillin treatment. For many patients amoxicilin significantly improves acne symptoms. However, many patients report that amoxicillin alone is not sufficient to completely resolve acne symptoms. Most dermatologists recommend using complementary medications (eg. topical retinoids, topical antibiotics, androgen inhibitors, light and laser therapy) in addition to oral antibiotics for the treatment of acne vulgaris.

    Reviewers from The Science of Acne have given amoxicillin generally favorable reviews. For a complete breakdown of how this medication ranks click on the ranking “gauge” or click here.

    Have you used Amoxicillin to treat Acne?: If you have used amoxicillin as a treatment for Acne Vulgaris, please share your experience.

    Additional Patient Reviews of Amoxicillin: Amoxicillin Reviews @ Acne.org, Amoxicillin Reviews @ WebMD, Amoxicillin Reviews @ RxList.com, Amoxicillin Reviews @ Drugs.com, Amoxicillin Reviews @ DailyStrength.org, Amoxicillin Reviews @ RateADrug.com, Amoxicillin Reviews @ DrugLib.com.

    Cost and Availability of Amoxicillin

    If possible, amoxicillin should be obtained through consultation of a qualified medical professional. Because amoxicillin is generally well-tolerated, many dermatologists and primary care providers may be willing to try amoxicillin as a treatment for acne symptoms. Amoxicillin is widely available in brand name and generic formulations. In generic formulations amoxicillin tends to be inexpensive, and in brand name formulations it tends to be moderately expensive.

    Amoxicillin Side Effects

    Amoxicillin Adverse Effects    Scale: 1 (none) to 5 (severe)


    Allergic reactions to antibiotics may cause the formation of rashes and/or hives on the skin.


    The most common side effects associated with amoxicillin treatment are gastro-intestinal upset, diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting.  Individuals with allergies to penicillin are likely to also be allergic to amoxicillin.   Allergic reactions (hypersensitivity reactions) to penicillin family antibiotics occur in up to 10% of the population and can range from mild reactions to potentially life threatening anaphylactic shock.   Hypersensitivity reactions are more likely in patients with a history of other allergies and/or hay fever.

    Allergic reactions to penicillin family antibiotics commonly result in skin-related symptoms, such as rash, hives and itching.   In some cases, severe allergic reactions can lead to anaphylaxis, which can cause difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, dizziness, fever and/or abnormal heart rhythm.   Allergic reactions are potentially serious complications that may require immediate medical care.  For in-depth information about potential side effects of amoxicillin treatment, refer to the physician’s insert or consult a medical professional.  For more information about contraindications in general, refer to Avoiding Negative Drug Interactions.

    Amoxicillin Background Information

    Amoxicillin Molecule

    Amoxicillin is an antibacterial medication in the penicillin family of antibiotics and is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs.  Several studies have indicated that the acne-causing bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes,  is highly susceptible to penicllin family antibiotics, including amoxicillin.

    Amoxicillin kills susceptible bacteria by destroying the cell walls that surround individual bacteria cells.  Amoxicillin is active against a wide range of bacteria, including the usual causative agent of acne vulgaris, Propionibacterium acnes.  Amoxicillin is most commonly used to treat bacterial infections of the respiratory tract, ear and digestive tract.

    Additional Names for this Medication: Abiolex, Agram, Alfamox, Alfoxil, Almacin, Alphamox, Amimox, Amitron, Amobay, Amoclen, Amoclox, Amodex, Amoflux, Amohexal, Amoksicilin, Amocillin, Amolin, Amopenixin, Amorion, Amosin, Amosol, Amotaks, Amoxapen, Amoxaren, Amoxi, Amoxibeta, Amoxicilina, Amoxicillina, Amoxicilline, Amoxicillinum, Amoxycillin, Amoxidin, AmoxiHefa, Amoxillin, Amoxistad, Amoxydar, Amoxypen, Baymox, Biomox, Bristamox, Cilamox, Cillimox, Cipamox, Clamoxyl, Clonamox, Dispermox, Dunox, Duzimicin, E.Mox, Epicocillin, Fisamox, Glamin, Gramidil, Grunamox, Ibiamox, Imacillin, Infectomox, Larotid, Lupidox, Moxadent, Moxan, Moxilen, Mymox, Novamox, Novoxil, Oraminax, Penamox, Pinamox, Polymox, Princimox, Promoxil, Ranoxil, Remoxil, Saifoxyl, Sawacillin, Seokicillin, Sinacilin, Stevencillin, Triodanin. Ultramox and Velamox.

    Related Articles from The Science of Acne

    Comprehensive Amoxicillin Reviews
    Overview: Avoiding Negative Drug Interactions
    A Guide to Buying Prescription Medications on the Internet
    Overview: Prescription Medications Used in Acne Treatment
    In Depth: Antibiotic Susceptibility of Propionibacterium acnes

    References and Sources

    Books

    PDR Staff Writers. 2011. 2011 Physicians’ Desk Reference
    Gallagher. 2011. Antibiotics Simplified, Second Edition
    Habif. 2009. Clinical Dermatology
    Goodheart. 2006. Acne For Dummies
    Bartlett. 2012. Johns Hopkins Antibiotics Guide 2012

    Online Resources

    Amoxicillin @ PubMed Health – The National Institute of Health (US) offers basic comprehensive information about most common medications.
    Amoxicillin @ Wikipedia – Wikipedia is an excellent resource for learning about how medications work.
    Amoxicillin Physician’s Insert – The physician’s insert for a medication contains nearly all of the relevant information, including indications, dosage information and background data.

    Scientific Research Articles

    Longshore, et al. 2003. Acne vulgaris: One treatment does not fit all.
    Keri, et al. 2009. An update on the management of acne vulgaris.
    Strauss, et al. 2007. Guidelines of care for acne vulgaris management.
    Webster, et al. 1982. Suppression of Polymorphonuclear Leukocyte Chemotactic Factor Production in Propionibacterium acnes by Subminimal Inhibitory Concentrations of Tetracycline, Ampicillin, Minocycline, and Erythromycin.
    Ingram, et al. 2010. Management of acne vulgaris: an evidence-based update.

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