Can You Crush Amoxicillin?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not amoxicillin tablets can safely be crushed.

Question

I was just put on amoxicillin and they are huge tablets! Can I crush them and take them that way?

Asked by Clark On Jun 20, 2022

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Jun 20, 2022
Last updated Jun 20, 2022

Key points

  • Amoxicillin tablets can safely be crushed.
  • There are several other dosage forms of amoxicillin available which may represent better options than crushing the tablets. Alternative dosage forms include capsules, suspension and chewable tablets.
  • Moxatag is a rarely prescribed extended-release form of amoxicillin. This product should not be crushed.

Hello and thanks for reaching out!

Yes, you can crush amoxicillin tablets but you likely have better options available to you since amoxicillin comes in a variety of dosage forms that are easier to swallow than the tablets.

For example, amoxicillin is also available in the following dosage forms:

  • Capsules
  • Suspension
  • Chew Tablets

All three of these are easier to swallow than the tablets, and you don't have to go through the activity of crushing the tablets and taking the powder (which can be messy).

Alternatives To Tablets

As mentioned, if you are having trouble swallowing amoxicillin tablets, I would recommend trying the capsules, chewable tablets, or suspension before resorting to crushing the (non-chewable) tablets. 

The capsules are easier to swallow than tablets and they can be opened and sprinkled onto food if you want to take the medication that way.

The suspension is in a liquid dosage form, which again, makes it easier to swallow than the tablet or capsule forms of the drug.

There is nothing wrong or dangerous with crushing amoxicillin tablets, but doing so is just a cumbersome activity and can get messy.

Additionally, amoxicillin tablets are not flavored and have a bitter taste to them. The chewable tablets are flavored and taste much better.

It generally makes more sense to use one of the alternative dosage forms that are readily available if swallowing the large tablets is an issue.

One Exception

There is one exception to what I have written above and it is regarding the drug Moxatag.

Moxatag is an extended-release form of amoxicillin that is not widely prescribed.

Nevertheless, since it is an extended-release dosage form, you should not cut, split, crush or otherwise alter the tablet.

Final Words

Thanks again for your question and please reach back out if anything else comes up!

References

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 11 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication related questions!

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