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Augmentin Duo Forte is a prescription-only branded penicillin antibiotic, which contains as its active ingredients a type of penicillin called amoxicillin, and clavulanic acid. The amoxicillin contained in Augmentin Duo Forte fights bacteria in the body, while the clavulanic acid helps to break down the resistance of certain bacteria that would ordinarily be able to overcome the effects of the amoxicillin, thereby broadening the drug's effect. Augmentin Duo Forte is produced by the pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline.
Antibiotics are used to treat a wide range of bodily infections caused by bacteria. Antibiotics will not work against viral infections like the common cold or influenza. Augmentin Duo Forte is used to treat chest infections--such as bronchitis or pneumonia--ear infections, sinusitis, infections of the skin, and urinary tract and bladder infections, such as cystitis. Augmentin Duo Forte tablets are taken orally and because of the way antibiotics work--an infection may feel better even though the bad bacteria is still present--the full prescribed course should be completed.
Augmentin Duo Forte contains amoxicillin, a drug from the penicillin group of antibiotics. Penicillin was originally and accidentally discovered in 1929 by Alexander Fleming. Full-scale production of antibiotics began in the 1940s and from that point onward they have been used extensively in the treatment of bacterial infections worldwide. As a consequence of the common usage of antibiotics, many strains of bacteria have now developed resistance to the antibiotics used to treat them.
Augmentin's combination of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid gives it a broader antimicrobal spectrum--meaning it is effective against a wide range of bacteria. On the downside, this broader spectrum increases the chance of bacteria developing a resistance to the drug. Gastrointestinal side effects, such as diarrhea, are more likely through the use of Augmentin than with other antibiotic products. In addition, although rare, Augmentin use can lead to liver damage. Because Augmentin Duo Forte is the branded version for the combination of amoxycillin and clavulanic acid, its price is usually greater than those of its generic competitors.
The U.S. patent for Augmentin was granted in 1984. In 2002, a U.S. court deemed the manufacturer's patents for Augmentin to be invalid, which effectively opened up the market for other pharmaceutical manufacturers to produce generic non-branded versions of Augmentin. Despite appealing the court's decision, GlaxoSmithKline was unsuccessful and there are now several generic versions of the drug available.
Medicines should only be taken following consultation with your physician. All medicines have possible risks and side effects and your primary physician is the best qualified to weigh these against your needs and medical background. If you are allergic to penicillin, you should not take Augmentin Duo Forte.