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Augmentin vs. Amoxicillin – Which Antibiotic Is Better?

amoxicillin vs augmentin

The great variety of medicines often forces us to think: which drug is better to buy?. We compare the composition, price, and mechanism of action of drugs. After that, we decide in favor of one or the other medication. 

Today’s article will tell you you can compare Augmentin and Amoxicillin. It is worth warning right away that only a doctor should prescribe any medication. You should not self-medicate, especially when it comes to the choice of antibiotics. 

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Amoxicillin and Augmenting – Is It The Same Thing?

Consumers are often interested in the comparative characteristics of these two drugs. It would seem that both medications belong to antibiotics of the penicillin series. The main active ingredient is Amoxicillin. Both drugs are available in the form of tablets and suspension. Does this mean that the drugs Amoxicillin and Amoxiclav are the same? 

The same active ingredient, as it turns out, can work differently. The difference is that the drug Augmentin contains clavulanic acid. It is an additional component that significantly enhances the effectiveness of the drug. Below you can read about the action of the main substances. 

But you should not decide for yourself whether to take Augmentin or Amoxicillin because the doctor still has the last word.

How Do Antibiotics Work? 

Efficacy is the next point to consider when choosing Amoxicillin and Augmenting. The composition of both drugs you already know. 

Amoxicillin is a semisynthetic antibiotic of the penicillin group, which has a broad-spectrum antibacterial action. The drug works by damaging the wall of the pathogenic microorganism at the stage of its reproduction. As a result, the bacteria stop their growth, their complete elimination occurs. 

Augmentin is positioned differently. This drug has antibacterial and bacteriostatic action of a broad spectrum. It means that the active ingredient not only does not allow the number of microorganisms to grow, it is also able to eliminate already existing pathogenic cells. 

Clavulanic acid enhances the effectiveness of this antibiotic. It prevents bacteria that are resistant to Amoxicillin from secreting beta-lactamase. As a result of such a combination, the effectiveness of the antibiotic increases many times, the drug turns out to be able to eliminate microorganisms resistant to Amoxicillin.

 It is worth noting that clavulanic acid itself has no clinically significant action. So, the drug Augmentin is considered more effective.

Indications and Contraindications 

Indications for the use of both drugs are the following cases: 

  • Lower and upper respiratory tract and ENT infections;
  • Urinary tract infections;
  • Digestive system infections; 
  • Gastritis and ulcers caused by Helicobacter bacteria;
  • Bacterial skin and soft tissue lesions. 

Due to its greater effectiveness, Augmentin has a broader range of use. It is also prescribed to treat bone and connective tissue infections and after surgery. 

Augmentin in any form is effective for staphylococcal infection when its predecessor will not cope with this pathology. 

The contraindications of the medications are the same. Antibiotics based on Amoxicillin are not prescribed if a person has an intolerance to penicillin and a possible allergic reaction. Doctors do not prescribe Augmentin for people with liver failure and infectious mononucleosis.

Which Drug Is Better Tolerated?

Both Augmentin and Amoxicillin can cause side effects. But as practice shows, the cheaper medication is much better tolerated by consumers. 

Clavulanic acid in the composition of Augmentin causes digestive tract disorders more often. Patients develop nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain. 

The drug often provokes allergies. Such a reaction can manifest itself most unexpectedly: from skin rash and itching to severe edema and shock.

 If your condition worsened while using antibiotics, or if you do not see improvement for 2-3 days, contact your doctor. 

How To Use?

Which is better to use? Both drugs in the form of tablets or suspensions are taken orally. But even here, there is a difference between them. 

You can take Amoxicillinat at any time, with or without meals. It is only necessary to observe the correct dosage and the break between servings. 

Augmentin differs from its counterpart in its composition. The presence of clavulanic acid obliges a person to take medicine only with meals. This way, you will achieve better absorption and minimize the likelihood of side effects.

Combination With Alcohol 

If you are going to take Augmentin or Amoxicillin, prepare to refrain from drinking alcohol for the duration of treatment. Although penicillin antibiotics rarely react with ethanol and rarely cause disulfiram-like reactions, refrain from drinking.

 Some patients report taking Amoxicillin and drinking alcohol. At the same time, the effect of treatment was not reduced, and deterioration of health did not occur.

 With Augmentin, everything is more serious. This drug is not recommended to be combined with alcohol.

Augmentin or Amoxicillin – Which Is Better? 

You have learned a lot about these interchangeable drugs. Which of them to choose? 

The antibiotics Augmentin and Amoxicillin have a difference in action. It is the first thing you should pay attention to. Augmentin is more effective, but it is more likely to cause unpleasant consequences of therapy. If it is laboratory confirmed that in your case, the microorganisms are sensitive to Amoxicillin, then give preference to the latter. 

Look at the cost and decide whether it is acceptable for you to buy expensive and effective Augmentin or you can buy cheap Amoxicillin? If you are not sure that the latter will help, it is better not to save money. 

To prevent postoperative complications, use Augmentin, as Amoxicillin will not be effective and will only undermine your immunity.


To summarize, you should not choose them on your own despite the available information about the drugs. The wrong choice of antibiotic entails very unpleasant consequences. Consult your doctor and find out which remedy to choose in your case: Amoxicillin or Augmentin.

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