ampicillin-sulbactam (generic name)

It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial infections
(am pi SILL in; sul BAK tam)
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What is this medicine?

AMPICILLIN; SULBACTAM (am pi SILL in; sul BAK tam) is a penicillin antibiotic. It is used to treat certain kinds of bacterial infections. It will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • heart disease
  • kidney disease
  • mononucleosis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to ampicillin, other penicillins or antibiotics, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is infused into a vein or injected deep into a muscle. It is usually given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

If you get this medicine at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • allopurinol
  • female hormones, including contraceptive or birth control pills
  • probenecid
  • some other antibiotics given by injection

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve or if you get new symptoms.

Do not treat diarrhea with over the counter products. Contact your doctor if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if the diarrhea is severe and watery.

This medicine can interfere with some urine glucose tests. If you use such tests, talk with your health care professional.

Birth control pills may not work properly while you are taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor about using an extra method of birth control.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • chest pain
  • difficulty breathing
  • fever, chills
  • pain or difficulty passing urine
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • seizures
  • unusual bleeding, bruising
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • heartburn
  • nausea, vomiting
  • pain, irritation at the site of injection
  • sore mouth, tongue
  • stomach gas

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

You will be instructed on how to store this medicine. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date on the label.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: March 10, 2009
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