Ampicillin is a penicillin-like antibiotic used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria such as pneumonia; bronchitis; and ear, lung, skin, and urinary tract infections. Antibiotics will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Ampicillin comes as a capsule, liquid, and pediatric drops to take by mouth. It is usually taken every 6 hours (four times a day). Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take ampicillin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the liquid and pediatric drops well before each use to mix the medication evenly. Use the bottle dropper to measure the dose of pediatric drops. The pediatric drops and liquid may be placed on a child's tongue or added to formula, milk, fruit juice, water, ginger ale, or other cold liquid and taken immediately.
The capsules should be swallowed whole and taken with a full glass of water.
Continue to take ampicillin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking ampicillin without talking to your doctor.
Take ampicillin at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
mild skin rash
severe skin rash
difficulty breathing or swallowing
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store the capsules at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Keep liquid medicine in the refrigerator, tightly closed, and throw away any unused medication after 14 days. Do not freeze. The liquid is good for 7 days at room temperature. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to ampicillin.
If you are diabetic, use Clinistix or TesTape (not Clinitest) to test your urine for sugar while taking this drug.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the ampicillin, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Reviewed - 09/01/2010
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.