Consumer medicine information


ampicillin (as sodium)

Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet

This leaflet answers some common questions about AMPICYN.

It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you receiving AMPICYN against the benefits this medicine is expected to have for you.

If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.

What AMPICYN is used for

AMPICYN is an antibiotic used to treat infections in different parts of the body caused by bacteria.

AMPICYN will not work against infections caused by viruses, such as colds or the flu.

AMPICYN is an antibiotic that belongs to a group of medicines called penicillins. These antibiotics work by killing the bacteria that are causing your infection.

Your doctor may have prescribed AMPICYN for another reason. Ask your doctor why AMPICYN has been prescribed for you.

This medicine is available only with a doctor’s prescription.

There is no evidence that AMPICYN is addictive.

Before you are given AMPICYN

When you must not be given it

Do not use AMPICYN if:

  • you have an allergy to AMPICYN or other penicillins
    Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include skin rash, itching and difficulty breathing.
  • you have had an allergic reaction to cephalosporins
    You may have an increased chance of being allergic to AMPICYN if you are allergic to cephalosporins.
  • the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering
  • the expiry date on the pack has passed. If you take it after the expiry date, it may have no effect at all, or worse, an unexpected effect.

If you are not sure whether you should be given AMPICYN, talk to your doctor.

Before you are given it

You must tell your doctor if:

  • you have an allergy to AMPICYN or any other penicillin.
  • you have any type of allergic reaction to cephalosporin medicines.
    You may have an increased chance of being allergic to AMPICYN if you are allergic to cephalosporins.
  • you have any allergies to any other medicines or any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes. This may include medicines that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
  • you have or have ever had any other health problems/medical conditions, including asthma, kidney or liver disease.
  • you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using AMPICYN during pregnancy.
  • you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using AMPICYN when breast-feeding.

If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you are given AMPICYN.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. Some medicines may interfere with AMPICYN. These include probenecid (Benemid) and some antibiotics eg. tetracyclines, erythromycin and chloramphenicol.

These medicines may be affected by AMPICYN, or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different medicines. Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid whilst receiving AMPICYN.

Some antibiotics may decrease the effectiveness of some birth control pills.

Talk to your doctor about the need for an additional method of contraception whilst receiving AMPICYN.

How AMPICYN is given

AMPICYN may be given in two ways:

  • as a slow injection into a vein
  • as a deep injection into a large muscle, a joint or the sac surrounding the lung.

AMPICYN must only be given by a doctor or nurse.

Your doctor will decide what dose and for how long you will receive AMPICYN. This depends on your infection and other factors, such as your weight. For most infections, AMPICYN is usually given in divided doses throughout the day.

To reduce microbial contamination, each AMPICYN vial is used only once. Any remaining contents must be discarded.

If you have too much (Overdose)

This rarely happens as AMPICYN is administered under the care of a highly trained doctor. However, if you are given too much AMPICYN, you may experience some of the side effects listed under ‘Side Effects’ below. Your doctor has information on how to recognise and treat an overdose. Ask your doctor if you have any concerns. A very large overdose of AMPICYN can cause brain upsets including fits.

After you have been given AMPICYN

Things you must do

If the symptoms of your infection do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, tell your doctor.

If you develop itching with swelling or skin rash or difficulty breathing after you have been given AMPICYN, contact your doctor immediately.

If you get severe diarrhoea tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately. Do this even if it occurs several weeks after AMPICYN has been stopped. Diarrhoea may mean that you have a serious condition affecting your bowel. You may need urgent medical care.

Do not take any diarrhoea medicine without first checking with your doctor.

If you get a sore white mouth or tongue after you have been given AMPICYN, tell your doctor. Also tell your doctor if you get vaginal itching or discharge. This may mean you have a fungal infection called thrush. Sometimes the use of AMPICYN allows fungi to grow and the above symptoms to occur. AMPICYN does not work against fungi.

If you become pregnant while you are receiving AMPICYN, tell your doctor.

If you have to have any tests tell your doctor you have been given AMPICYN. AMPICYN may affect the results of some tests.

Tell any doctor, dentist or pharmacist who is treating you that you have been given AMPICYN.

Things to be careful of

Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how AMPICYN affects you. AMPICYN generally does not cause any problems with your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. However, as with many other medicines, AMPICYN may cause dizziness, drowsiness or tiredness in some people.

Side effects

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if you have any problems whilst receiving AMPICYN,even if you do not think the problems are connected with the medicine or are not listed in this leaflet.

Like other medicines, AMPICYN can cause some side effects. If they occur, most are likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious and need medical attention.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.

Whilst being given AMPICYN

Tell your doctor immediately or go to casualty at your nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:

  • a severe skin reaction, including severe rash or blisters
  • wheezing
  • irregular heart beat
  • feeling faint

If you are suffering from glandular fever or some other more serious blood complaints, it is very common to develop a rash if you are given AMPICYN. The rash will disappear after the AMPICYN is stopped.

Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following:

  • pain or redness at the site of injection
  • oral thrush – white, furry, sore tongue and mouth
  • vaginal thrush – sore and itchy vagina and/or discharge
  • a mild rash

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients.These include very rare cases of brain, blood and kidney disease.

After finishing AMPICYN

Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following side effects, particularly if they occur several weeks after finishing treatment with AMPICYN:

  • severe abdominal cramps or stomach cramps
  • watery and severe diarrhoea, which may also be bloody
  • fever, in combination with one or both of the above

These are rare but serious side effects. AMPICYN can change bacteria (which are normally present in the bowel and normally harmless) to multiply and therefore cause the above symptoms. You may need urgent medical attention.

Do not take any diarrhoea medicine without first checking with your doctor.

An illness consisting of a rash, swollen glands, joint pains and fever may occur about a week after the treatment.

Tell your doctor if you notice any side effects.

This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Others may occur in some people and there may be some side effects not yet known. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are concerned.

After receiving AMPICYN


AMPICYN will be stored in the pharmacy or on the ward. AMPICYN powder for injection is kept in a cool dry place, protected from light, where the temperature stays below 25°C. AMPICYN is not to be given after the expiry date on the label.

Product description

What it looks like

AMPICYN is a white to off-white powder which has to be dissolved in water before it is injected.


Ampicillin sodium 1 g.

AMPICYN does not contain gluten, lactose, sucrose, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.


Alphapharm Pty Limited
Level 1, 30 The Bond
30-34 Hickson Road
Millers Point NSW 2000

This leaflet was prepared in May 2019.

AMPICYN 1000 mg – AUST R 90881


Published by MIMS October 2019