Unasyn

(ampicillin / sulbactam)

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Treats bacterial infections.

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Our bottom line

Unasyn (ampicillin / sulbactam) is only available as an injection and usually given in the hospital. You can take Unasyn (ampicillin / sulbactam) at home, but you'll have to be taught how to inject it correctly.

Quick facts about ampicillin / sulbactam
  • Drug class: Infection
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (ampicillin / sulbactam)

Upsides

  • Unasyn (ampicillin / sulbactam) is available as a generic.
  • It is effective in treating many types of bacterial infections.
  • It is able to kill bacteria that have resistance to other antibacterials.
  • Most people who take it usually have few side effects.
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What to expect from ampicillin / sulbactam, on one page

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Downsides

  • Since Unasyn (ampicillin / sulbactam) is only available as an injectable, Unasyn (ampicillin / sulbactam) is usually given for serious infections.
  • If you have to take it at home, your doctor has to insert a small tube in your skin and either you or a nurse has to inject the medicine.
  • If you're taking Unasyn (ampicillin / sulbactam) at home, you have to store Unasyn (ampicillin / sulbactam) in the fridge and a nurse might have to see you very often to do blood tests.
  • Like all antibacterials, it can cause diarrhea.
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What to expect from ampicillin / sulbactam, on one page

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How it works

Unasyn (ampicillin / sulbactam) is a combination of two medicines: ampicillin and sulbactam. Ampicillin is an antibiotic that kills bacteria by preventing them from making their own protective covering. Sulbactam helps ampicillin work better by stopping the bacteria from cancelling out the antibiotic.

Quick facts about ampicillin / sulbactam
  • Drug class: Infection
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (ampicillin / sulbactam)

Used for

Dosage forms

  • Injection
Tried ampicillin / sulbactam? Write a review!

What to expect when you take Unasyn (ampicillin / sulbactam) for Skin infections

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Pain at injection site
  • Rash
  • Abnormal liver test
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Side effect rates for Unasyn (ampicillin / sulbactam)

  • Pain at injection site
    16%16%
  • Pain at IV site
    3%3%
  • Pain due to small vein clot
    3%3%
  • Diarrhea
    3%3%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of ampicillin / sulbactam.

Unasyn (ampicillin / sulbactam)
Placebo

People taking ampicillin / sulbactam felt side effect more

People taking ampicillin / sulbactam felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Unasyn (ampicillin / sulbactam)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Allergy to penicillins.

    Although rare, Unasyn (ampicillin / sulbactam) can cause a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction. Let your doctor know of any allergies to penicillins. If you get a rash, itchy skin, hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of your face or mouth while taking Unasyn (ampicillin / sulbactam), talk to your doctor or go to the emergency room right away.