Amoxicillin Clavulanate or Cefaclor

Amoxicillin Clavulanate or Cefaclor Feature Image
February 14, 2019

Amoxicillin-clavulanate and cefaclor are active ingredients used in some antibacterial drugs such as Augmentin and Cefaclor Oral Suspension to treat symptoms related to pneumonia, otitis media (middle ear infection), and sinusitis. These medications must be prescribed by a physician to treat your bacterial infection. Amoxicillin-clavulanate and cefaclor are very similar ingredients. However, your doctor may suggest one over the other depending on your medical condition and history. We’re here to compare both ingredients to help you determine which medication will work best for you.

Characteristics of Amoxicillin-clavulanate

Amoxicillin-clavulanate is found in some antibacterial drugs such as Augmentin. The ingredient helps treat bacterial infections, most commonly ear, nose, and throat infections. It is usually the first line of treatment for infections in children because it is effective in treating most childhood infections and has very little severe side effects.


Amoxicillin-clavulanate is also recommended for patients with infections that are harder to treat without antibiotics. In a study comparing the effectiveness of amoxicillin-clavulanate, researchers found that the drug was more effective in curing acute paranasal sinus infections than a placebo drug. However, the same study found that 43% of people with sinusitis were cured without antibacterial drugs. This means that drugs are not always necessary when treating certain conditions.


While Amoxicillin-clavulanate is known to have less severe side effects, there are some that may cause discomfort. These side effects include:


• diarrhea
• nausea
• vomiting
• yeast infections
• rash

If you experience these side effects after taking amoxicillin-clavulanate, consult with your physician. It’s also important to disclose all medical conditions with your doctor, especially allergies. Amoxicillin-clavulanate is derived from penicillin so patients with a penicillin allergy must avoid this drug.

Characteristics of Cefaclor

Cefaclor is an antibiotic that works by stopping the growth of bacteria. It is frequently used against bacteria responsible for causing skin infections, otitis media, and urinary tract infections. It is also helpful in treating pneumonia.


Cefaclor, found in Cefaclor Oral Suspension, is effective in treating infections but is prescribed less than amoxicillin based drugs. In a randomized controlled trial of amoxicillin and cefaclor, it was concluded that less effective than amoxicillin-clavulanate in treating acute otitis media. Another study advised that cefaclor should not replace amoxicillin as the first line of treatment. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to bypass amoxicillin.

Cefaclor is still a widely used drug, but it also has some side effects including:

• upset stomach
• headache
• nausea
• vomiting
• diarrhea

In rare cases, cefaclor may also cause some patients to develop hypersensitivity. Also, like many antibiotics, it’s possible for bacteria to become resistant to the drug. Consult with your doctor about the length of time you should be taking cefaclor.

Which Active Ingredient Is Right For Me?

While many studies suggest amoxicillin as the first line of treatment for bacterial infections, amoxicillin-clavulanate and cefaclor may both be effective. There are advantages and disadvantages of the ingredients, so you should discuss your options with your physician. The NYC allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers will talk you through your treatment plan and explain any side effects you may experience. Call (212) 686-4448 to schedule an appointment at one of our six locations.

Meet The Physician Collaborator

Dr. Bruce Dobozin specializes in Allergy and Immunology with a sub-specialty in asthma and allergic conditions. He has been in practice for more than 20 years. He is dual certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Allergy & Immunology. To book an appointment with Dr. Dobozin, call (212) 686-4448.

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    Our premier team of allergists offer state-of-the-art methods for diagnosis and treatment of allergies and sinus conditions. Our NY Allergy & Sinus Centers perform Allergy Skin and Blood Testing, Food Allergy Testing, Patch Testing, and Immunotherapy, and often a same-day diagnosis is possible.

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