Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Antibiotic Questions

  1. Nov 18, 2013 #1
    Had to go to the dentist last week and she prescribed amoxicillin for an infection. This has always worked well for me.

    In the past when I've taken this particular antibiotic I've had the experience of my tongue developing a kind of black patch, which is listed as a common side effect. This time that is not happening. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas why it isn't.

    The other question I have is whether anyone knows the usual bacteria one might expect to cause infected teeth. The x-ray showed a pocket of infection at the tip of the root. I'll be getting a root canal. But I'm curious if there's one particular bacteria that usually does this sort of thing or if any of many might be responsible.

    Dose is 500mg every 6 hours for seven days. There is a sticker on the bottle which says to take on an empty stomach. I wondered why. Googling gave contradictory info, saying you could take it with or without food, there being no difference.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Dang! I have no medical info but I sure do have sympathy. I've had a bad tooth/bone infection twice - they are no fun at all! I hope the amoxicillin works for you. Quickly.
  4. Nov 18, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It has little effect on efficacy whether you take it with or without food, but, side effects may be more annoying on an empty stomach.
  5. Nov 19, 2013 #4
    Thanks! I've also got industrial strength ibuprofen, and that is working great for the pain. The root canal will prevent continued infection.
    Some medical authority must think it makes a difference since the pharmacist is instructed to put the sticker on the bottle. I didn't find anything online that explained why an empty stomach should be better, though. It's inconvenient to try and make sure your stomach is empty when it's time to take the capsule. Requires juggling of mealtimes.
  6. Nov 19, 2013 #5
    Unlike some other beta lactam antibiotics, amoxicillin is well absorbed with or without food. You might ask your pharmacist why your Rx is labeled as it is. Some might believe it will be absorbed faster on an empty stomach, but that is not the "official" recommendation.

  7. Nov 19, 2013 #6
    Thanks. It seems from that link the pharmacist may be thinking of amoxicillin as a form of penicillin.
  8. Nov 19, 2013 #7


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    The black tongue is just an overgrowth of a certain yeast right? I think the bacteria in your mouth normally keep it at bay but with the meds the yeast overgrows?

    That would be my only guess as to what causes it, I don't think I've ever experienced it on amoxicillin.
  9. Nov 19, 2013 #8
    He would be correct then. :smile:

    The only relevant difference I can discern between amoxicillin and other penicillin derivatives is that amoxicillin is easily absorbed (as SW Vandecarr mentioned) than other β-Lactam antibiotics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Β-Lactam_antibiotic -includes penicillin derivatives and others) which therefore, need to be taken in a relatively empty stomach. (because food restricts absorption of the drug- probably because drug concentration is reduced- /pure conjecture)

    EDIT: Get well soon. (Forgot about that...I am a horrible person)
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  10. Nov 19, 2013 #9
    In fact, amoxicillin is an aminopenicillin similar to ampicillin and is a third generation penicillin with activity against gram negative organisms (which is generally lacking in the natural penicillins). It's considered a broad spectrum antibiotic. There are now five generations of penicillin derivatives with further extensions of antimicrobial spectrums. Amoxicillin is generally recommended for community acquired bacterial infections of the ear, sinuses and teeth and is effective against a number of bacterial respiratory infections.


    Btw, I don't merely wish for zoobyshoe to get better. I insist that he does ASAP.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  11. Nov 19, 2013 #10
    It could be I don't currently have any of this yeast in my system, whereas I must have in the past. My diet is in constant flux.
  12. Nov 19, 2013 #11
    Didn't mean to imply that he'd be incorrect, just unable to think laterally and consider that the same regimen didn't apply despite one being a derivative of the other.

    Get well soon!
  13. Nov 19, 2013 #12
    Thanks! I'm actually headed to the dentist in a minute for the first session. Later I'll be feeling that icky facial numbness for a while, I'm afraid.
  14. Nov 19, 2013 #13
    Ack! Totally forgot that you had a tendency to do that...
  15. Nov 19, 2013 #14


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ugh, the tingles :rolleyes: (rolleyes is the closest we have to an asymmetric smiley).
  16. Nov 20, 2013 #15
    It turned out to be pretty extreme, but I don't really mind because over-numbing is better than under-numbing. Still, afterward you're distracted by how insensate your face is. It's hard to fully concentrate on anything else till it wears off.

    On a different note, in case anyone is interested in what bacteria are involved, I eventually found this paper:

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Antibiotic Questions
  1. Antibiotics check (Replies: 10)