What Is Clavulanate Potassium and What Is It Used For?

Clavulanate potassium is a type of antibiotic that can be taken in several different pill forms: regular, chewable, extended-release tablet or liquid, according to Drugs.com. It is similar to penicillin and fights bacteria within the body.

Although clavulanate potassium is classified as a penicillin, it is often used to fight bacteria that is often resistant to penicillin and other antibiotics, states PatientsLikeMe.com. Clavulanate potassium is an clavulanic acid and works by stopping the actual growth of bacteria, according to WebMD. It treats only bacterial infections and does not aid in the destruction of viral infections, such as common cold or flu, as stated by WebMD.

Typical conditions that require the use of clavulanate potassium are: sinusitis, pneumonia, ear infections, bronchitis, urinary tract infections and infections of the skin, claims PatientsLikeMe.com. Several side effects can accompany the use of clavulanate potassium with possibilities ranging from mild diarrhea to hives or difficulty breathing. Taking clavulanate potassium can negatively interfere with many medicines, and a physician should be consulted before mixing clavulanate potassium with another medicine within the body. Persons with liver disease (or a history of hepatitis or jaundice), kidney disease, mononucleosis, pregnant or other serious health conditions should consult with a physician before taking clavulanate potassium, as they may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication, says PatientsLikeMe.com