Augmentin ES is a type of antibiotic used to treat persistent or recurrent ear infections in children. This prescription medication contains two active ingredients, and works to kill bacteria by stopping the bacteria from making cell walls. This drug comes in liquid form and is typically taken twice daily. Potential side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and yeast infections.
Brand-name Augmentin ES is made by GlaxoSmithKline. Generic versions (made by various manufacturers) are also available.
How Does Augmentin ES Work?
Augmentin ES contains two different medications, amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium (also known as clavulanic acid, or simply clavulanate). Amoxicillin belongs to a group of medications known as aminopenicillins, which is part of a larger group of medications known as beta-lactam antibiotics (named after the ring-like "lactam" structure of these antibiotics).
Amoxicillin works by stopping bacteria from making cell walls, which eventually causes the bacteria to die. However, many bacteria have developed a resistance to amoxicillin (and similar antibiotics) by producing enzymes called beta-lactamases. Beta-lactamases (produced by bacteria) break the beta-lactam ring, making amoxicillin (and similar antibiotics) ineffective.
The other component of Augmentin ES (clavulanate) is known as a beta-lactamase inhibitor. Clavulanate stops the bacterial enzymes from breaking down the amoxicillin molecule. Clavulanate itself has no significant antibacterial activity; it merely helps to prevent amoxicillin from being broken down by bacteria that would otherwise be resistant to amoxicillin. Essentially, clavulanate "augments" the activity of amoxicillin (hence the name Augmentin).
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Augmentin ES [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline;2009 September.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed May 11, 2010.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed May 11, 2010.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click