What does pre-medicating w/antibiotics before a dental visit do to your body?
December 21, 2011 8:29 AM   Subscribe

I have to take 2000mg of Amoxicillin before I visit the dentist -- is that a large dose? Would it muck with the balance of good bacteria in my body? Just curious, thanks!
posted by 10ch to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
Best answer: IANAD. 2000mg is a fairly big dose, but not a particularly odd prescription. I'm guessing you will be having a procedure today or soon?

As for bacterial balance: one of the most common side effects is that your stomach might start doing jumping jacks. Of all the times I've taken amoxicillin and/or augmentin I've personally had a 50/50 chance of diarrhea. YMMV. Here's the wikipedia on the side effects:
Side-effects are as those for other beta-lactam antibiotics. Side-effects include nausea, vomiting, rashes, and antibiotic-associated colitis. Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) also may occur. Rarer, but patient-reported, side-effects include mental changes, lightheadedness, insomnia, confusion, anxiety, sensitivity to lights and sounds, and unclear thinking.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:48 AM on December 21, 2011

The dosage generally depends on what it's being taken for, and your particular response to certain medications - impossible for us to tell, unfortunately. However, according to the Davis Drug Guide I just referenced, "standard" dosing could be anywhere from 250-500 mg every eight hours for certain types of infections to a single 3000 mg dose for Gonorrhea. I've heard of 2000 mg being used for prophylactic measures before though, and indeed there are some infections in which you might see someone take 1000mg twice a day in addition to another antibiotic for up to 14 days.

If you have any concerns however, you should of course as your doctor/dentist, but that does seem on the higher end of reasonable.

IANAD either.
posted by Rewind at 8:55 AM on December 21, 2011

IANAd. I took 2000mg yesterday an hour before going to the dentist. My understanding is that this is relatively standard prophylaxis dose (in my case, based on my use of immunosuppressant drugs following a kidney transplant). I've never had any problem with it, but I know that I'm not allergic to amoxicillin.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:58 AM on December 21, 2011

Best answer: Just throwing my two cents in: since amoxicillin, for me anyway, is particularly hard on the benevolent flora and fauna living in my gut, leading to serious stomach upset, I like to pick up a couple of bottles of kefir to have on hand (you can get it at your local grocery store.) It seems to do the same thing as live culture yogurt in terms of keeping things a bit tamer than they would otherwise be, but I find it easier to keep down when my tummy's upset. I also recommend the blueberry specifically, because if you throw it back up, not only will it taste pretty good but your upchuck will be a festive shade of robin's egg blue!

Also YMMV on this one, but I find that large doses of antibiotics make me really, really physically tired and out of it, sometimes to the point where simple tasks like doing the dishes make me physically exhausted (combined with a dental procedure I'm sure this is like 1000x worse.) If you haven't already, you may want to ensure you don't have anything to do for the next couple of days so you can sleep as much as you want and take regular rest.
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:01 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

If you're worried about your intestinal flora, get yourself some yogurt. But your intestinal flora are less important than not getting a nasty infection as a result of your dental procedure.
posted by valkyryn at 9:04 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

I just checked my dentist's prescription and I take 3g before the appointment. And the last few times it's upset my stomach badly (not helped by the fact that I took it twice for no reason; once I got the appointment time wrong, and the next week re-match, the dentist missed the appointment -- his wife was giving birth), so make sure you eat first and get some bifidis.
posted by bwonder2 at 9:27 AM on December 21, 2011

I think that's how much I had to take back when I had to take antibiotics before going to the dentist. I didn't like it - the caplets smell bad to me, and I would often have an upset stomach. But it never did me any lasting damage.
posted by mskyle at 9:31 AM on December 21, 2011

How long have you been doing it? I also take 2 grams of Amoxicillin before dental appointments - originally recommended 20 odd years ago. My new dentist advised me to talk to my doctor the next time I see him, as they changed the recommendations on pre-dental exam antibiotics a few years back, and I may no longer be in the group recommended to do it.
posted by COD at 9:44 AM on December 21, 2011

2nding Jedicus...I had to take the same dosage a few weeks back just prior to a dental procedure (composite fillings). I didn't notice any serious side effects from the medication.
posted by Telpethoron at 10:02 AM on December 21, 2011

FWIW the last time my mother went to the dentist they discussed new guidelines that suggest that preemptive doses of antibiotics were no longer required. In her case she had a bad heart valve.
posted by Gungho at 10:13 AM on December 21, 2011

Response by poster: All -- Just to clarify, I'm not complaining or doubting anything, just curious what antibiotics of that mg do to a body.

As a side note, in researching things before asking this question, I read how the ADA no longer requires it for kind of heart issue I have, so that's great news and I will follow up w/my dentist next time.

And anecdotally, I was confusingly tired yesterday after having biked two very short trips around town and even remarked to my family about it. Maybe the antibiotics had something to do with that.
posted by 10ch at 11:03 AM on December 21, 2011

If you have been taking it due to a heart murmur, you are correct that the ADA protocol has changed. I used to require it as well, but dentist and physician both now tell me to skip it. So I skip it.
posted by webhund at 2:21 PM on December 21, 2011

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