Compare Augmentin vs. Penicillin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

(amoxicillin / clavulanate)

Penicillin Vk

Treats bacterial infections. Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanate) is first-choice antibiotic for most common types of infections. However, it may not work against more serious or uncommon types of infections.Kills bacteria. Penicillin Vk (Penicillin) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as a generic. You may need to use another form of birth control along with your birth control pills. It's also best taken on an empty stomach but it can cause an upset stomach.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
Reviews for Augmentin
of people (All ages) say Augmentin is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
1034 reviews
Have you used Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Penicillin
-3% worse vs. Augmentin
Same vs. Augmentin
-1% worse vs. Augmentin
1297 reviews
Have you used Penicillin Vk (penicillin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
  • Diarrhea 9%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Skin rash and hives 3%
More Augmentin side effects »

The Penicillin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Penicillin side effects »
How it works
Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanate) contains two antibiotic medicines, which kill bacteria.Penicillin Vk (Penicillin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from making their own protective covering.
Type of medication
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • History of penicillin allergies
  • Taking Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanate) for a long time
  • Mononucleosis
  • Using oral birth control pills
Detailed Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanate) risks & warnings »
  • Prior severe allergic reaction to Penicillin Vk (Penicillin)
Detailed Penicillin Vk (penicillin) risks & warnings »

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

  • Take with food if you're having upset stomach.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
  • Liver damage has been associated with patients taking Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanate). It's usually reversible, but deaths have been reported. Talk to your doctor if you notice pain in your abdomen, loss of appetite, yellowing of your skin or eyes, or dark colored urine.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Upsides and benefits
  • Available as generic product.
  • Available in tablet, capsule, and liquid forms.
  • Used to treat most common types of bacterial infections.
  • Side effects are generally not too bad compared to other antibiotics.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule and suspension.
  • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
Downsides and risks
  • Many bacteria have developed resistance to this antibiotic.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Birth control pills may not work as well to prevent pregnancy when taking this medication.
  • Many bacteria have developed resistance. Your doctor may run tests to see if Penicillin will work on your infection.
  • Can make birth control pills less effective.
  • Best taken on an empty stomach, but can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
  • Finish all of your medicine even if you start to feel better. Stopping it early can cause the infection to come back stronger than before.
  • Can make your oral birth control less effective. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you need to use backup.
  • Take with food if you're having upset stomach.
  • Store the liquid in the fridge and throw away after 10 days.
  • Shake the suspension thoroughly before using each dose.
  • Take this medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
  • If you're taking birth control pills, this medication can make them less effective.
  • Try to take it on an empty stomach. If this gives you an upset stomach, take it with food.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
Learn more
More about AugmentinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PenicillinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Penicillin Vk (penicillin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it