Clavulanic acid is a β-lactam drug. It acts as a mechanism-based β-lactamase inhibitor. It is not an
antibiotic by itself. Rather it is combined with penicillin-group antibiotics. It treats antibiotic
resistance in bacteria that secrete β-lactamase, which inactivates most penicillin.
Its common preparations include potassium clavulanate combined with Amoxicillin sold under the
brand name amoxiclav, Augmentin, Tyclav, amongst others.
Clavulanic acid was patented in 1974, but since it has been involved in preparing some of the
commonly used antibiotics around the world.
Availability, Dosage, and administration.
When mixed with amoxicillin, it is sold as a tablet, a chewable, an extended-release tablet, and a
suspension for oral use. The tablets, chewable tablets, and suspension are three times a day, 8 hours
apart, at the start of a meal, or every 12 hours. The extended-release tablets taken with meals or
snacks every 12 hours. The patients are directed to Swallow the extended-release tablets whole not
to chew or crush them and if using suspension then the bottle should be mixed for making the
medication properly. The quantity for the acid in both 250 mg and 500 mg is the same. The user is
recommended not to substitute two 250 mg tablets for one 500 mg tablet. Also, the content of the
acid is different between the 250 mg regular tablet and the 250 mg chewable tablet, so they should
also not be used as substitutes.
The price of Clavulanic acid
Depending on the grade and purity, the price of one gram of Clavulanic acid can cost between USD 1
and USD 100. While the average price of 20 tablets of 100mg or 62mg is around USD 150. It is an
ingredient that goes into making other medicine and is not used as an anti-biotic by itself.
How does it work?
Clavulanic acid is made up of a beta-lactam ring. These ring strongly bind to beta-lactamase at or
near its active site. This hinders enzymatic activity giving protection to other beta-lactam antibiotics
from beta-lactamase catalysis. The final result is an enhancement in their antibacterial effects.
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