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How Long Does it Take for Amoxicilin to Work?

By Rachel Nall ; Updated July 27, 2017

What Is Amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic medication prescribed to treat bacterial infections, such as an ear, salmonella or E. coli infection. It is available in a variety of forms, such as capsule, liquid or chewable.

When amoxicillin is taken, it interferes with the bacteria's ability to form cell walls. Without these walls, bacteria cannot protect themselves from antibodies that act to kill bacterial cells and cannot hold the bacterial cells' contents within the walls.


Amoxicillin often is prescribed based on the level of infection. For example, amoxicillin used to treat an ear infection is often prescribed for 7 to 10 days, or given in three injections. However, for a urinary tract infection, which is often more severe, antibiotics are often taken for 14 days to ensure the infection has fully cleared.

Once amoxicillin is taken, it begins to attack the infection in the body. After 2 to 3 days of taking the medication at the recommended dosage, a person begins to experience relief of symptoms. This does not, however, mean the infection is fully cleared.

Regardless of when a person begins to feel better, the full round of antibiotics should be taken. This ensures all bacteria has been sufficiently killed. If the entire prescription isn't taken as instructed by a doctor, re-infection is possible. In addition, this may cause a person to develop an immunity to antibiotics.

For Best Results

Amoxicillin can best work when it is kept in steady levels in the body. For this reason, it is often prescribed to be taken every 8 to 12 hours. If you miss a dose, resume taking the medication as soon as possible. However, do not double up on doses to compensate for any missed dose.

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