As the long-acting version of Augmentin, Augmentin XR is a prescription antibiotic approved for the treatment of certain types of pneumonia and sinus infections. It contains two medications (amoxicillin and clavulanate), and comes in the form of a tablet that is usually taken twice a day. Although most people tolerate it well, side effects are possible and may include nausea and diarrhea, among others.
What Is Augmentin XR?Augmentin XR® (amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium XR) is a prescription antibiotic approved to treat sinus infections and pneumonia caused by certain types of bacteria. It is a long-acting version of Augmentin that is taken twice a day.
How Does Augmentin XR Work?Augmentin XR contains two different medications: amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium (also known as clavulanic acid or simply clavulanate). Amoxicillin belongs to a group of drugs known as aminopenicillins, which is part of a larger group of medications known as beta-lactam antibiotics, named after the ringlike "lactam" structure of these antibiotics.
Amoxicillin works by stopping bacteria from making cell walls, which eventually causes the bacteria to die. However, many bacteria have developed resistance to amoxicillin and similar antibiotics by producing enzymes called beta-lactamases. Beta-lactamases (produced by bacteria) break the beta-lactam ring, making amoxicillin and similar antibiotics ineffective.
The other component of Augmentin XR (clavulanate) is known as a beta-lactamase inhibitor. Clavulanate stops the bacterial enzymes from breaking down the amoxicillin molecule. By itself, it has no significant antibacterial activity; it merely helps to prevent amoxicillin from being broken down by bacteria that would otherwise be resistant to amoxicillin. Essentially, clavulanate "augments" the activity of amoxicillin -- hence, the name Augmentin.