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Can Ampicillin be taken in pregnancy?: what is it for and dosage

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

There have always been doubts regarding the use of antibiotics during pregnancy and the possible side effects that they may cause in the fetus, which is why the use of any medication during this important stage should be done under prescription and specialized medical indication.

However, despite this concern, ampicillin is a safe drug to be used during pregnancy under some specific medical conditions. The safety of the drug will depend on the characteristics of the antibiotic, as well as the dose and time of treatment. In this FastlyHealarticle, we will explain everything you need to know about the use of ampicillin in pregnancy, what is the recommended dose and what it is for.

Ampicillin: what is it for?

Ampicillin is an antibiotic that is part of the group of penicillins, it is a broad spectrum bactericide indicated in specific conditions such as:

  1. Infections of the genitourinary tract by E.Coli, Shigella, Enterococci.
  2. Infections of the respiratory system such as pneumonia and bronchitis due to H. Influenzae, Staphylococci and Streptococci.
  3. Infections of the gastrointestinal system: by Shigella, Salmonellas, E.Coli.
  4. Meningitis.

Although ampicillin crosses the placental barrier and is excreted through breast milk, there are no known teratogenic effects produced by this drug.

The use and safety of this antibiotic will depend on the characteristics of the drug, as well as the dose with which it is administered and the days of treatment. Undoubtedly, it will also depend on the stage of pregnancy in which the pregnant woman is, that is why any antibiotic should be used under prescription and medical indication.

How to take Ampicillin in pregnancy: dosage and uses

In pregnancy, Ampicillin is used if the woman has a urinary infection, especially if it occurs from the second trimester of pregnancy, respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis, gastrointestinal infections and in patients with meningitis. .

According to the journal on infectious diseases and clinical microbiology 1 in relation to the issue of urinary tract infection in pregnant women, describes that the frequency of affection in pregnant women is between 5 and 10% and is related to problems such as premature birth, low birth weight of the fetus, perinatal mortality, anemia and maternal hypertension. The pregnant woman has some risk factors for presenting urinary tract infection during pregnancy, this being a common cause for using Ampicillin. One of them is suffering from a recurrent urinary tract infection prior to pregnancy, it can also be associated with diabetes mellitus, neurogenic bladder, among other conditions. The bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections in pregnancy is E. Coli in 70-90% of cases.

Ampicillin is used in pregnant women with a dose of 500 mg to 1 g orally every 6 hours for 7 or 10 days and may require higher doses in serious infections to treat.

Contraindications of ampicillin in pregnancy

The use of Ampicillin during pregnancy is safe when used under medical indications and complying with the prescribed dose, however, it has some contraindications:

  1. It should not be used in people with a history of hypersensitivity to penicillins.
  2. It is contraindicated in infections caused by organisms producing penicillinase, since these are resistant to the use of penicillins.
  3. Leukemia patients.
  4. Cephalosporin sensitive patients.
  5. Patients with infectious mononucleosis.
  6. Patients with other viral diseases.

It is important to take some precautions into consideration before you start taking Ampicillin:

  • You must inform your doctor of a pregnancy.
  • Tell the doctor if any other treatment is being followed to avoid drug interactions.
  • Finally, it should be known to the doctor that he suffers from diseases of both kidney and liver to adjust the dose.

Side Effects of Ampicillin During Pregnancy

It is probable that some pregnant women show adverse reactions after the administration of Ampicillin, among which are:

  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Skin rash
  • Itch.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Increase in volume in the tongue.

All these effects disappear immediately if the drug is stopped. In the event of any strange manifestation that begins after the beginning of medical treatment, discontinue its use and go to the doctor immediately.

Ampicillin and breastfeeding

During breastfeeding, certain precautions must be taken, since Ampicillin is excreted in low amounts through breast milk , so that the newborn also consumes it, generating risk in the infant of presenting:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Sensitization.
  • Infection in the baby.
  • Acne.

The specialist doctor must decide whether to stop breastfeeding during treatment or to stop the use of this medicine.

Drug Interactions of Ampicillin

Using some medications at the same time as Ampicillin can make it less effective in treating some conditions or increase its effect depending on the drug it interacts with:

  1. If given at the same time as allopurinol , it increases the likelihood of skin rashes, especially in patients with hyperuricaemia.
  2. When administered in conjunction with oral contraceptives, the latter are likely to decrease their effectiveness and also initiate bleeding outside of menstruation.
  3. The use of probenecid increases the risk of renal toxicity after reducing the renal tubular secretion of Ampicillin.

Before starting treatment with an antibiotic, the assessment and indication of the specialist should be taken into consideration, although it is true that Ampicillin can be used during pregnancy, it must be low doses and an adequate route of administration.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Can you take Ampicillin in pregnancy ?: what it is for and dosage , we recommend that you enter our Pregnancy and baby health category .

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