Amoxicillin vs Penicillin: Difference and Comparison

You may have been given an antibiotic like amoxicillin or penicillin if you’ve ever been ill with bacterial infections. These antibiotics are two of the most often given penicillin-type medicines.

Amoxicillin and Penicillin are medicines that both cure infections of the respiratory, gastrointestinal system, eyes, nose, and throat.

Key Takeaways

  1. Amoxicillin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is effective against many bacteria. At the same time, penicillin is more narrow-spectrum and is only effective against certain types of bacteria.
  2. Amoxicillin is more commonly prescribed than penicillin due to its broader range of effectiveness and lower risk of side effects, while penicillin is often used for specific types of infections.
  3. Amoxicillin is more expensive than penicillin, but it may be a better option for those with allergies to penicillin.

Amoxicillin vs Penicillin

Amoxicillin is effective against a wider spectrum of bacteria in comparison with penicillin. Amoxicillin is more likely to cause a rash compared to Penicillin. Penicillin was discovered much before Amoxicillin. Amoxicillin is safe for children above 5, while Penicillin is apt for children over 10.

Amoxicillin vs Penicillin

This antibiotic Amoxicillin, along with ampicillin (Unasyn), piperacillin (Pipracil), and ticarcillin, belongs to the class of antibiotics called penicillins (Ticar).


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As a result of their ability to inhibit bacteria from forming barriers around themselves, antibiotics of the penicillin group do not kill bacteria instantly.

Antibiotics that include penicillin is used to treat infections caused by bacteria of the eardrum, nose, intestines, bladder, and kidney.

In addition to treating pneumonia, blood infections (sepsis), mild gonorrhoea, meningitis, endocarditis, etc. Penicillin derivatives had been created that block a wider range of bacteria than the initial life-saving antibiotic.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAmoxicillinPenicillin 
Effective medicine onBacterial InfectionBacterial Infection
EffectivenessBroader Range of BacteriaMedium Range of Bacteria
Side EffectsVomiting, confusion, abdominal pain, easy bruising, bleeding, rash, allergic reactions, etc.Diarrhoea, dizziness, heartburn, insomnia, nausea, etc.
Effective against bacteria likeH. influenza, Helicobacter pylori, E. coli, P. mirabilis, E. faecalis, N. gonorrhoea, etc. Groups A, B, C and G streptococci, Nonenterococcal group D streptococci, Viridans group streptococci and Non-penicillinase producing staphylococcus

What is Amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin was first discovered in 1958 and was first used in medicine in 1972. It is listed as an essential medicine by the World Health Organization. It is one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for children.

Amoxicillin is a commonly used generic antibacterial. In 2018, it was the fifteenth highest-prescribed medication in the United States, with nearly 31 million prescriptions written.

Various bacterial infections can be treated with the antibiotic amoxicillin. Only a few of these include infectious diseases of the eardrum or tongue, pneumonia, inflammatory diseases, and urinary tract infection.

It’s taken by mouth but sometimes given as an injection.

Since amoxicillin is best absorbed through the digestive tract, it is virtually taken orally.

Amoxicillin is more commonly recommended to children than conventional penicillin because it is easier to take and because children are more susceptible to ear and throat infections, which amoxicillin effectively cures.

Amoxicillin is used to treat severe otitis media, streptococcal pharyngitis, pneumonia, skin condition, urinary infections, Salmonella infections, Lyme disease, and genital infections.

Nausicaasis and erythema are two frequent symptoms. The risk of fungal infections and diarrhoea is also increased, particularly when paired with clavulanic acid. People who are allergic to penicillin should not use it.

While it is safe to use in those who have renal issues, the dose may need to be reduced. It does not appear to be hazardous when used during pregnancy or nursing. Amoxicillin belongs to the beta-lactam antibiotic family.

What is Penicillin?

It was revealed that Penicillium chrysogenum and Penicillium Rubens are the earliest sources of penicillins (P, PCN, or PEN). Naturally occurring penicillins are synthesized into the vast majority of penicillins used in medical treatment.

As of today, there are only two types of penicillins that may be used therapeutically: penicillins G and V. A wide range of staphylococcal and streptococcal infections may be treated with penicillin, one of the first antibiotics to show improvement.

Penicillin was discovered in 1928 by Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming as a methanolic preparation of Penicillium Rubens. C.G.Painte treated an eye condition with penicillin as a student of Fleming’s in 1930.

Penicillin F was developed in 1940 by Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain at Oxford University.

As part of their fast development cycle, bacteria’s cell walls are continually torn down and rebuilt.

Penicillins break the cycle by entering deep into a bacterium’s forming cell wall, preventing it from hardening and strengthening. Bacterial cells get weaker and finally die as a result of this.

Penicillin is a gram-positive and gram-negative antibiotic with a restricted spectrum of activity. Penicillin comes in a variety of forms, including an injectable (penicillin G), an oral tablet, and a liquid solution (penicillin V).

A newer variant of the original penicillin discovered, Penicillin V, may be taken orally and is designed to tolerate stomach acid.


Main Difference Between Amoxicillin and Penicillin

  1. Although amoxicillin and penicillin have comparable adverse effects, amoxicillin is more likely to induce a rash, which isn’t always an indication of an allergy.
  2. In addition to genitourinary infections, acute, simple gonorrhoea, and H. pylori eradication, amoxicillin can be used in combination with other medicine for treating genitourinary infections, symptomatic, uncomplicated gonorrhoea and eradication of H. pylori.
  3. After its discovery in 1928, the antibiotic penicillin became broadly utilized during World War II. 1958 was the year that amoxicillin was created, and 1972 was the year that it was first utilised in therapy.
  4. Penicillin can be used to control symptoms of rheumatic fever or chorea, viral endocarditis, bacterial meningitis, and dental issues such as gum disease.
  5. Amoxicillin affects a broader range of bacteria, but Penicillin affects a medium range of bacteria.
Difference Between Amoxicillin and Penicillin

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