Allergy To Penicillin And Alternative Antibiotics
This article deals with alternative antibiotics to penicillin in case of penicillin allergy. We first describe the main symptoms of penicillin allergy and then suggest alternative non-penicillin antibiotics.
Penicillins belong to a class of drug called beta lactams because they contain a special beta lactam ring in their structure that is considered to be responsible for its anti microbial activity. Among all groups of antibiotics, penicillins are the oldest and the safest ones with fewer side effects. Penicillins are further divided into following groups:
- Narrow spectrum penicillins: Penicillin G and penicillin V are the typical examples of narrow spectrum antibiotics that have antibiotic coverage against gram negative cocci, gram positive cocci, gram positive rods and spirochetes.
- Very narrow spectrum pencillinase resistant drugs: These antibiotics are used for resistant strains of staphylococci. Examples include naficillin and oxacillin.
- Wide spectrum antibiotics: Ampicillin, amoxicillin, piperacillin and ticarcillin are the examples of wide spectrum antibiotics. Apart from coverage against gram positive organism, these wide spectrum drugs are also active against gram negative rods too including Listeria monocytgenes, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella, pseudomonas and Enterobacter species.
List Of Types And Dosages
Although antibiotics can help clear a tooth infection, it is important to use the appropriate antibiotic in each situation.
The type of antibiotic a dentist recommends will vary depending on the bacteria causing the infection. This is because different antibiotics work in different ways to eliminate different strains of bacteria.
As a study in the Dentistry Journal notes, there are over 150 different strains of bacteria that occur in the mouth. Many of these bacteria have the potential to grow and cause an infection.
Treatment may change depending on the bacteria causing the infection, though much of the time, dentists simply recommend an antibiotic that works against many types.
How Long Does It Take For Antibiotics To Work For A Tooth Infection
You can start feeling the effects of antibiotics on a tooth infection in as little as a day. But just because your pain and swelling have gone away doesn’t mean your infection is entirely cured!
Your antibiotics won’t completely take care of the infection until you’ve taken them over a course of 7 to 10 days, and always for the complete amount of time your dentist has prescribed.
It’s extremely important that you take all of the antibiotics that your dentist has prescribed, exactly as prescribed. If not, you could just make bacteria resistant to the antibiotics and make your infection ultimately more difficult to treat.
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Can You Take Doxycycline For A Toothache
Doxycycline is part of the tetracycline class of antibiotics. It isn’t typically a first-choice antibiotic rather, it is reserved for more serious infections.
Therefore, doxycycline should only be taken for a toothache if that toothache is caused by a severe infection and your dentist has prescribed it to you.
Doxycycline can also be used to help prevent the breakdown of gum tissue and help with the reduction of gum pockets in patients who have gum disease. At that dosage, however, it won’t treat bacterial infections.
Doxycycline for a tooth infection is not recommended in children under 12 because antibiotics from the tetracycline class can cause permanent tooth staining in children. It’s also not suitable for pregnant women.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Localised Dental Infection
Box 2 lists the key presenting symptoms in patients with localised dental infection. Patients who present with trismus , dysphagia, or systemic upset require immediate medical attention.
Box 2 Signs and symptoms of localised dental infection
Pain in mouth and jaws
Swelling inside mouth
Tenderness on biting or tapping of the affected tooth
Pain on palpation of surrounding gum
Spontaneous drainage of pus
Several other potential diagnoses need to be excluded.
Pulpitis, or toothacheâis an inflammatory condition of the pulp usually caused by dental decay or a failed filling. It is characterised by severe pain in the mouth and jaw, which is stimulated by hot and cold, and in later stages the tooth can feel sore during biting. The pain can be either sharp or dull and poorly localised and can radiate to the ear. Crucially, there is no bacterial infection of the surrounding tissue, swelling, or suppuration. The infection does not respond to antibiotics and analgesia is often ineffective. This condition requires management by a dentist.
Temporomandibular disordersâtemporomandibular pain dysfunction syndrome is characterised by pain, clicking, jaw locking or limitation of opening the jaw, and tenderness of facial muscles. Pain from disease of the temporomandibular joint is usually dull, poorly localised, and intensified by movement of the jaw and may be associated with trismus. Patients may be aware of clenching or grinding their teeth and stress in their lives.
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What Are The Antibiotics Used In Dentistry
There’s an assortment of antibiotics that dentists regularly prescribe to their patients for this treatment. The most common include:
The most popular is likely penicillin or amoxicillin. It’s not uncommon for some patients to need something stronger or may be allergic to those two. In that case, cephalexin or clindamycin could be prescribed. Azithromycin is helpful when a sinus infection is causing tooth pain. If there’s an infection that’s severe or in a unique location, a combination of antibiotics may be required.
Therapeutic Antibiotic Prescribing By Dentists
Most oral diseases presented to the dentist are primarily inflammatory conditions that are associated with pain. These inflammatory conditions and their associated clinical features are shown in . A considerable percentage of dental pain originates from acute and chronic infections of pulpal origin, which necessitates operative intervention, rather than antibiotics. Non-indicated clinical cases for antibiotic use include acute periapical infection, dry socket, and pulpitis. Chronic inflammatory periodontal conditions are also not indicated for antibiotics systemic antimicrobials should only be used in acute periodontal conditions where drainage or debridement is impossible, where there is local spread of the infection or where systemic upset has occurred.
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Penicillin V May Interact With Other Medications
Penicillin V oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.
To help prevent interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs youre taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else youre taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
This dosage information is for penicillin V oral tablet. All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:
- your age
- the severity of your condition
- other medical conditions you have
- how you react to the first dose
Antibiotic Coverage During The Endodontic Procedure
The most conventional therapy in case of dental abscess requires two different procedures. First the dentist has to drain the bump to allow the pus to come out. To do that, your doctor will puncture the boil containing the yellowish fluid and press it gently to get it all out. As soon as the pus starts to exit, you will feel immediately.
The second step has the scope to remove all the infected material from within the dental element. The clinician will use surgical instruments like files and reamers to clean and shape the root canal. At this point, antibiotics for abscess avoid that additional bacteria contaminate the surgical area.
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What Are The Potential Side Effects Of Clindamycin
Patients who have used the drug have described a bitter taste when taken orally, so a full glass of water with each pill is recommended.
While rare, check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Cracks in the skin
- Chills or loss of heat from the body
- Red, swollen, or scaly skin
Other potential side effects include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and if injected, pain at the site of injection.
What Is The Best Antibiotic For Tooth Infection Treatment
In many cases, antibiotics from the penicillin class, including penicillin and amoxicillin, are the best antibiotics for tooth infection. But that doesn’t mean these are the right choices for everyone! In fact, antibiotics may not be what you need even If you have a tooth infection.
You should never take an antibiotic without a prescription from your dentist or doctor. Many people take antibiotics without a prescription, and this is leading to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
That means that some bacterial infections can no longer be treated with antibiotics which is a scary thought!
Instead of antibiotics, your dentist may decide that the best course of action is to drain your abscess, perform a root canal, or possibly remove the infected tooth.
That being said, you are more likely to receive antibiotics for a tooth infection when your infection is severe and spreading or if you are an individual with a weakened immune system.
The best antibiotic for a tooth infection will depend on the type of bacteria that is causing your infection and the location of your infection. That’s because different classes of antibiotics work in different ways to fight bacteria.
This is one of the reasons why it’s essential to take the antibiotic exactly as prescribed by your dentist until you’ve finished your prescribed course of treatment. Your dentist or doctor will know which is the best drug to take for your infection based on your medical history and the type of infection.
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Facial Swelling With Infection
For children with dental infections, antibiotics from the penicillin class are the most popular choice.
Your dentist may decide that additional supplemental antibiotics such as metronidazole may be needed if the infection is caused by anaerobic bacteriabacteria that don’t require oxygen and are most commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract.
Other Beta Lactam Antibiotics
Penicillins are beta lactam drugs but in case of allergy to penicillins, other beta lactam drugs can be used safely. Besides penicillins, other beta lactams are given as such:
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Other Treatment Options For Tooth Infection
Clindamycin is not the only antibiotic that can be used to treat a tooth infection.
The common first choice for dental infections is penicillin, which can treat everything from urinary tract infections to skin infections to chest infections, or amoxicillin, another penicillin-based antibiotic.
Both of these drugs can be good options if you have a tooth infection, but not if youre one of the estimated 10% of the population who has a penicillin allergy or intolerance .
Anyone who has demonstrated an intolerance to penicillin, including rashes, hives, fever, swelling, shortness of breath, or anaphylaxis, should look to solve their tooth infection with clindamycin or another non-penicillin-based antibiotic instead.
Another potential antibiotic to help cure a tooth infection is cephalexin, also among the most commonly-used antibiotics in the world. It is generally effective against infections, particularly on the skin and in the urinary tract, but also carries the same risks for patients with an intolerance of penicillin.
Its important to remember that antibiotics, while helpful at preventing worsening of a tooth infection, are rarely the definitive treatment.
Anyone who has a dental infection needs to be evaluated by a dentist as soon as possible to determine whether a procedure such as pulling the tooth, filling the tooth, or draining an abscess is necessary.
What Risk Factors Can Lead To Complications From An Abscess
There are several risk factors that can increase your chances of having complications from a dental abscess, including:
- older age
- It can potentially take several months for a dental abscess to develop.
- Once an abscess has formed, noticeable pain and swelling around the affected tooth usually occur.
- If left untreated, it may take a few more weeks or months for the infection to spread to other tissues and cause complications. However, once this has happened, death can occur quickly.
- Factors like older age, having diabetes, or being immunocompromised can increase your risk of complications from a dental abscess.
Overall, these facts underline the importance of seeking prompt medical care if youre experiencing persistent pain or swelling around a tooth. When treated early, most tooth infections can be resolved without serious complications.
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Antibiotic Therapy Risks And Side Effects
Before to take any medication, you should always talk to your doctor or dentist in order to avoid any unpleasant or dangerous side effect. This is an important precaution especially in case of pregnancy dental infection, while breastfeeding or in any other condition that requires you to take different drugs at the same time.
How Long Does It Take For Amoxicillin To Work For A Tooth Infection
If you take the amoxicillin antibiotic for tooth infection, you may begin to feel better in just one to two days. However, that doesn’t mean that your infection is cured.
You must make sure to take your antibiotics for as many days as specified in your prescription, and even though you may feel better in a couple of days, your infection probably won’t be gone until a week to 10 days have passed.
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What Happens Once An Abscess Develops
Once an abscess has formed, you typically begin to experience swelling and intermittent, throbbing pain around the affected tooth. This is a warning sign that something is wrong. However, you will probably have dental pain in your tooth from the cavity before it progresses into an abscess.
Casestudies of serious illness or death from tooth infections often describe persistent toothaches that go on for weeks or months before seeking urgent or emergency care.
In many case studies, the toothaches were treated with antibiotics during this timeframe. However, antibiotics alone arent typically effective for treating a dental abscess. The tooth decay needs to be treated, too, either with an extraction or root canal if your tooth is salvageable.
When a dental abscess remains untreated for weeks or months, it may spread to other areas like the jaw, neck, and brain. This can cause serious symptoms like trouble swallowing, difficulty breathing, and an inability to open your mouth.
At this point, if care isnt received, death can occur quickly, sometimes in a matter of days.
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K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
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What Should Be The Effective Dose Of The Antibiotics
Although it is not very clear, according to the literature in most cases, 2-3 days of medication is adequate. However, when the treatment is not done properly, the antibiotic coverage may be needed for up to 7 days.
According to the International Dental Journal study notes, most acute infections resolve in 3-7 days.
Always take the entire dosage regimen of antibiotics prescribed by your dentist . This is mainly because if you dont take the entire course, some bacteria may survive and can result in the re-infection. This reoccurring infection becomes harder to treat at the later stage.
How To Get Antibiotics For A Tooth Infection
You can get antibiotics for a tooth infection from your dentist or doctor, although dentists are preferable due to their experience with tooth infections. Antibiotics are not available over the counter you must have a doctor’s prescription.
Depending on your condition, you may be able to get prescriptions through an online dental consultation.
If you have antibiotics leftover in your medicine cabinet from an old infection, you should not use them. To properly dispose of your antibiotics, take them to your nearest pharmacy.
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