What is an Amoxicillin Rash?
Amoxicillin Rash is the presence of red or white swellings on the skin as a reaction to the intake of amoxicillin drugs, which are used to treat bacterial infections such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections and bronchitis.
It is common to have a mild rash on the skin for a few days as a side effect of the drug but sometimes it could be a life threat which requires quick medical attention. Although adults react to amoxicillin, children are the common victims of this rash.
Forms of Amoxicillin Rash
Having this rash may be due to an allergic reaction or just a mere side effect of amoxicillin drug. They are therefore classified into two main forms:
They are allergic amoxicillin rashes and are characterized by itchy red/ white pimple-like spots on the skin. Their appearance may be realized not long after the first or second amoxicillin dosage and can first be spotted on the groin or finger tips after which they spread to the rest of the body.
Alongside these rashes may be symptoms such as breathing problems, wheezing, vomiting, collapse and swelling around the face or lips. These rashes can be very dangerous especially when a severe allergic reaction referred to as ‘anaphylactic reaction’ is formed since it is in relation these symptoms.
These types of rash are non-allergenic and appear as flat reddish bumps on the skin. They may also look pale and unevenly spaced on the skin. They may be visible after a period of 5-10 days after taking the dose and may be irritating and itchy.
Mononucleosis victims are the commonly affected by this rash and it occurs in rare cases. Unlike hives, this particular rash does not have serious symptoms alongside its occurrence.
Use of amoxicillin can lead to development of rashes as a result of an allergic reaction. These rashes are:
It is usually serious and characterized by severe itchiness. In most cases, only a part of the body can be affected by this rash but the probability of it spreading to the rest of the body is very high.
This rash develops when amoxicillin comes into reaction with symptoms such as breathing difficulties and wheezing which may result in severe respiratory issues. Its effects can be fatal and hence patients are advised to seek medication as soon as possible.
It also has a potential of causing Stevens-Johnson syndrome, especially when the rashes excessively redden and form blisters contributing to sloughing of the skin.
They contain pus and are very painful and form along the hair follicles resulting in furuncles.
When they occur, they result in the skin becoming very red and sometimes may look discoloured. Continued scratching on the affected area due to their itchiness may lead to bruises on the skin.
Other Side Effects
This antibiotic does not only result in rashes, there are also other effects associated with the use of the drug which are equally important. They include;
- Feeling nauseated
- Vomiting after taking the drug
- Diarrhea or watery bowels
- Abdominal pain
- Vaginal itching or discharge
- Headache and dizziness
- The tongue might be swollen and hairy with a black color
- There may be Candidiasis in some cases.
It is important to check for such symptoms if you or your child is under amoxicillin prescription and report to your doctor in case you experience any of them. Seizures, colitis and jaundice could be serious and dangerous if immediate action is not taken.
Right Time to Visit a Doctor
It is important to call or rush to the nearest medical facility for help if you see these signs in your child or yourself;
- Presence of white patches on the lips and in mouth
- Increased fever and feeling unwell
- If the skin becomes pale and eyes turn yellow
- If muscles and joints become weak and sometimes numb to make any movement
- Increased hives on the skin
- If the face feels swollen and the tongue heavy that it is difficult to swallow.2,5
Treatment can only be after determining whether the rash is allergic or non-allergic. It is therefore a requirement to explain to your doctor about the rash to help him or her decide what type of treatment to prescribe. This is what your doctor should know;
- The time it took for the rash to appear on your body after amoxicillin dose
- The appearance of the rash when you look at them or how they feel when you touch them (are they bumpy and raised or flat and smooth?)
- If there are any signs of swelling in your body (face, lips, mouth or tongue)
- If you have used amoxicillin to treat any ailment without doctor’s prescription
The doctor can then prescribe treatment differently for hives and Maculo-papular rash.
Treatment for hives
- Since they are due to allergic reactions, patients are advised to stop using any drug that contains amoxicillin
- Patients are either put under Benadryl treatment or oatmeal bath to soothe the itchiness and rest the rash
- Scratching is discouraged as it increases irritation on the skin and sometimes it would break. This then increases its vulnerability to serious infections.
- Patients are advised to report cases of wheezing or breathing problems as soon as they realize them.
Treatment for maculo-papular
- Benadryl and oatmeal baths are also prescribed for this rash
- Other antibiotic prescriptions can be used though it is not a must to stop using amoxicillin.
It is easy to prevent the disease from occurring by:
- Avoiding the use of any antibiotics including ampicillin and oxacillin especially if you have a medical history on antibiotic allergy
- Parents should keep record of their children’s medication and allergic reactions to avoid re-administration of drugs that would trigger the allergy
- Any symptoms should be reported to the physician early enough and should be detailed so that it is easier to prevent re-occurrence.
- If you are breastfeeding and under amoxicillin prescription, you should consider seeking advice from a medic as to avoid passing the antibiotic to the baby through milk which would still result in development of a rash.
- Before any antibiotic prescription, it is good for the doctor to know of any other diseases you could be suffering from such as leukemia and kidney disease. This is because some diseases may put you at risk of amoxicillin reaction.
- The Amoxicillin Rash: Allergies or Normal Side Effects?. Available at
- Common Side Effects of Amoxil (Amoxicillin). Available at
- Amoxicillin Rash- Pictures, Symptoms, Duration, Treatment. Available at
- Amoxicillin Rash- Pictures, Causes, Symptoms, Precautions and Treatment. Available at
- Ampicillin or Amoxicillin Rash: Caring for Your Child’s Rash. Available at