Can Augmentin cause a yeast infection?

Answer

Augmentin, like most other antibiotics, can cause vaginal yeast infections. Antibiotics can change the balance between yeast and other organisms in the vagina, allowing yeast to flourish.

The generic name for Augmentin is amoxicillin and it is part of a group of antibiotics known as penicillins. It is prescribed for a variety of bacterial infections including:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Ear infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Pneumonia

A variety of microorganisms inhabit a healthy human vagina. Normally, they each help to control the populations of the others. Prescription antibiotics will kill some of the bacteria in the vagina. Without the controlling influence of the bacteria, the yeast Candida albicans will sometimes overgrow. This overgrowth causes the symptoms associated with a yeast infection:

  • Itchy or burning vagina
  • Abnormal discharge from the vagina
  • Red and swollen vulva and labia
  • Burning during urination
  • Itching or burning around anus
  • Pain during intercourse

Only a doctor or other medical professional can positively diagnose a yeast infection. During a pelvic exam, the doctor will look for visible signs of infection and will take a swab of vaginal secretions. The material from the swab will be examined under a microscope for the presence of yeast organisms.

A variety of treatments are available for yeast infections. Over-the-counter creams and vaginal suppositories will help in many cases. Prescription oral medications are also effective, but the best treatment may be prevention. Using a cream, suppository or oral medication while taking the antibiotic may ward it off completely or at least limit the severity of the symptoms.

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