Is It Safe To Open Amoxicillin Capsules?

Amoxicillin capsules can safely be opened. However, the powder can be unpalatable and therefore, alternative dosage forms may be preferable.

Question

Can I open amoxicillin capsule (500 mg)? I have problem with swallowing capsules. Is it safe to open them?

Asked by Sam On Oct 16, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Oct 17, 2018

Overview

Amoxicillin capsules can safely be opened, and the powdered contents can be sprinkled on food, such as applesauce or pudding. However, amoxicillin powder is relatively unpalatable and there are alternative dosage forms, such as amoxicillin suspension, that may be a better alternative to opening capsules.


What Is Amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is a semisynthetic "aminopenicillin", similar to ampicillin and penicillin. It does, however, have a broader spectrum of antibacterial effects than penicillin and is better absorbed than ampicillin. Amoxicillin is used to treat a variety of infections including:

  • Otitis media
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Bacterial cystitis


How To Take Amoxicillin

Amoxicillin capsules can be given with or without food. However, if the medication causes nausea or stomach discomfort, taking with food may improve tolerability. 


If opening amoxicillin capsules, the contents can be sprinkled on applesauce, yogurt, pudding or other similar food and swallowed immediately with water. It is important to open amoxicillin capsules just prior to administration and once opened, administer the entire dosage. Do not store for future use.


Amoxicillin Capsule Alternatives

If you are having trouble swallowing amoxicillin capsules, there are alternative dosage forms that may be preferable to the opening capsules.


Amoxicillin is also available as:

  • Chewable tablets
  • Liquid suspension


The chewable tablets and liquid suspension are commonly used alternatives and can be prescribed in a manner that correlates to your dosage of the amoxicillin capsules. As the powder in amoxicillin capsules may be difficult to tolerate, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist regarding whether an alternative dosage form is available to you.

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