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ampicillin and sulbactam (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using ampicillin and sulbactam (Unasyn)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to ampicillin and sulbactam or to any other penicillin antibiotic, such as:

  • amoxicillin (Amoxil, Amoxicot, Biomox, Dispermox, Trimox);
  • carbenicillin (Geocillin);
  • dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen);
  • oxacillin (Bactocill); or
  • penicillin (Beepen-VK, Ledercillin VK, Pen-V, Pen-Vee K, Pfizerpen, V-Cillin K, Veetids, and others).

Before using ampicillin and sulbactam, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs (especially cephalosporins such as Ceclor, Ceftin, Duricef, Keflex, and others), or if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;
  • mononucleosis (also called "mono");
  • a history of diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics; or
  • a history of any type of allergy.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Ampicillin and sulbactam can make birth control pills less effective, which may result in pregnancy. Before using ampicillin and sulbactam, tell your doctor if you use birth control pills.

Ampicillin and sulbactam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use ampicillin and sulbactam (Unasyn)?

Ampicillin and sulbactam is given as an injection into a muscle or through an IV needle placed into a vein. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection. When it is given as an IV injection, this medicine must be given slowly, and can take up to 30 minutes to complete.

You may be shown how to use your medicine at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used in giving the medicine.

Use each disposable needle only one time. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

Use this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated.

This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using ampicillin and sulbactam.

Store ampicillin and sulbactam at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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