Amoxicillin: What’s the Safe Dosage for Kids

Amoxicillin is a drug used to treat bacterial infections in children. There are two main types of antibiotics that are commonly prescribed for children:

Antibiotics work by killing bacteria or other microorganisms. They may cause side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and fever.

Some drugs have been linked with increased risk of death in young children.

The CDC recommends that all children aged birth through age 5 receive at least one dose of a single-dose antibiotic each day. Children 6 years and older should get two doses of antibiotics per day.


What Is Amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is a penicillins antibiotic which is commonly known as cephalosporin or Ciprofloxacin. It is a broad spectrum antibiotic that works against most types of bacteria including those found in the stomach, intestines, skin, blood and respiratory tract.

It is used to treat infections caused by gram negative bacteria like E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter.

It is also effective against some strains of staphylococcus aureus (strep throat).

How Much Amoxicillin Do I Need For My Child?

The standard dosage of amoxicillin for baby is 75 to 90 milligrams (mg) per day. A child weighing 12 kg should take 90 to 100 milligrams, while a child weighing 15 kg should be given 150 to 200 milligrams. The recommended dosages are increased to 2.5 times these amounts for treating severe infections. Children with kidney disease may require lower dosages.

If you are using amoxicillin for your child, it is important that you consult your physician to find the right dosage for your child’s weight. If you don’t, you run the risk of underdosing or overdosing your child, which can both lead to health complications.

What Is an Amoxicillin Overdose?

An overdose occurs when you take more than the prescribed dosage. This can be intentional or accidental. Intentional overdoses are typically associated with suicide attempts, but overdose can also occur when a person takes more of a drug than what is recommended. This can happen if you take multiple pills at once or you take the wrong dosage such as taking a lower dose when you should be taking a higher one.

An amoxicillin overdose is more likely to cause serious side effects because you are taking a large amount of amoxicillin at once. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you think that you or someone else may have overdosed on this drug.

What Are the Symptoms of an Amoxicillin Overdose?

Serious Symptoms:

Skin rashes


Swelling of lips, face, or tongue

Itching and skin redness (erythema)

Severe stomach pain

Diarrhea, sometimes with blood in it

Low blood sugar (ask your doctor or healthcare provider for a blood sugar test)

Nausea and vomiting, sometimes with blood in it

Stomach cramping and pain that can occur anywhere from immediately after taking the drug to several days later



Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

Dizziness or lightheadedness

Fast heartbeat

Low fever (weigh loss, chills)

Pain or difficulty passing urine

Sore throat (sometimes with fever or history of strep infection)

Swollen lymph nodes in neck or armpit area (your doctor may perform a lymph node biopsy)

Weight loss (feels too tired and unwell to eat well, can’t keep food down)

Less Serious Symptoms:

Agitation or confusion

Blurred vision

Diarrhea, sometimes with blood in it


Fever over 102 F or 38.9 C, but no weight loss


Muscle pain

Numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or lips

Redness at the injection site (may have a hard time locating the vein for injection)

Restlessness, unable to sit still

Slowed breathing

Sore mouth or tongue

Who Sees Amoxicillin Overdoses?

Patients who overdose on amoxicillin can seek immediate medical attention at any time. It is generally recommended that if you think that you or someone else has taken too much of this drug, you reach out to a medical professional.

How Are Overdoses of Amoxicillin Treated?

The treatment for an amoxicillin overdose will vary from patient to patient and will be dependent on the severity of the overdose. In most cases, doctors will induce vomiting if the overdose was recent and then provide supportive care to the patient. If the overdose was severe, the doctor may perform a dialysis treatment on the patient to cleanse the blood of excess amoxicillin.

In some cases, such as with a severe allergic reaction, doctors may use an antidote such as neostigmine to reverse the effects of amoxicillin.

When Should I Call the Doctor After an Overdose?

If you or someone else has overdosed on amoxicillin and you begin to develop severe side effects, call your doctor immediately. These side effects may require emergency treatment.

How Can I Prevent an Amoxicillin Overdose?

If you are taking amoxicillin as a prescription medication, take it exactly how your physician tells you to. If you are unsure about whether or not you should take the drug, call your doctor for advice. Do not let anyone else take your medication, and do not take anyone else’s amoxicillin without checking with a medical professional first.

Also, keep all medications stored safely out of the reach of children and pets. If a child accidentally ingests amoxicillin or similar antibiotic drugs, seek immediate medical attention.

If you are taking amoxicillin to prevent or treat a sexually transmitted disease, always practice safe sexual habits, such as using condoms.

What Should I Do If I Know of Someone Hoarding Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are prescription-only drugs and should only be taken under the care and guidance of a medical professional. It is illegal to share these drugs with another person, even if that person has a prescription for them.

If you know someone who is taking antibiotics that they haven’t needed, encourage them to seek immediate medical attention to treat their infection. If you are worried about getting in trouble, do not take the pills yourself and instead, contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug poisoning is common, but it doesn’t have to be deadly. By learning more about the potential risks of amoxicillin and other drugs, you can make better decisions and keep yourself safe.

Sources & references used in this article:

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Efficacy and safety of 5-day challenge for the evaluation of nonsevere amoxicillin allergy in children by R Labrosse, L Paradis, J Lacombe-Barrios… – The Journal of Allergy …, 2018 – Elsevier

Asthma, family history of drug allergy, and age predict amoxicillin allergy in children by Y Faitelson, M Boaz, I Dalal – The Journal of Allergy and Clinical …, 2018 – Elsevier

Evaluation of frequency of paediatric oral liquid medication dosing errors by caregivers: amoxicillin and josamycin by A Berthe-Aucejo, D Girard, M Lorrot… – Archives of Disease in …, 2016 –

Three day versus five day treatment with amoxicillin for non-severe pneumonia in young children: a multicentre randomised controlled trial. by G Agarwal, S Awasthi, SK Kabra, A Kaul… – … (Clinical research ed …, 2004 –

Evaluation of amoxicillin clavulanate twice daily versus thrice daily in the treatment of otitis media in children by S Jacobsson, A Fogh, P Larsson, S Lomborg – European Journal of …, 1993 – Springer

Amoxicillin-sulbactam versus amoxicillin-clavulanic acid for the treatment of non-recurrent-acute otitis media in Argentinean children by JM Casellas Jr, V Israele, M Marín, MT Ishida… – … journal of pediatric …, 2005 – Elsevier

Three day versus five day treatment with amoxicillin for non-severe pneumonia in young children: a multicentre randomised controlled trial by ISCAP Study Group – BMJ, 2004 –

Amoxicillin allergy in children: five-day drug provocation test in the diagnosis of nonimmediate reactions by F Mori, A Cianferoni, S Barni, N Pucci, ME Rossi… – The Journal of Allergy …, 2015 – Elsevier