24 answers

Amoxicillin Rash in 19 Month Old

My son was taking Amoxicillin for an ear infection. He was almost done with the prescription when on Friday he woke up with a rash that progressively got worse through out the day. I took him to his regular Dr who said we may be dealing with a penicillin allergy and not to finish the prescription. He has been on Amoxicillin several times before and has never had this kind of reaction. I have read about an Amoxicillin rash that can happen but does not necessarily mean an allergy exists. The rash has not gotten much better (it's practically all over his poor little body). It doesn't seem to be bothering him too much but he sounds like he still hasn't gotten over this cold and I'm afraid the ear infection will come back. Has anyone experienced this? If so, any advice?

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Sounds like he is allergic. My oldest developed an allergy to Amoxicillan after a few rounds of it. We now put him on the other 'family' of drugs and we have now problems. Good luck!

My daughter had the exact same reaction after being on amoxicillin several times and the Dr. told me the same. He also told me that if it is a penicillin reaction it would be very dangerous to try it again. There are also many other drugs out there they can replace it with. Do be careful, my daughter also has a sensitivity to sulfa based drugs. Unfortunately we have to go with the more expensive drugs for her. Barb K.

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The same thing happened with my oldest son. Once he had the reaction to amox. the dr. put him on a different sulfer medication cephclor. The next ear infection we used the cephclor, he broke out with a rash again. The dr. then put him on pedizole, same thing happened with the next ear infection. The dr. then determined that he was allergic to sulfer meds. So the only thing he could take is zythromax. We were told to have him checked by an allergist when he got older to see if he is still allergic or if he grew out of it.

Allergies are funny things, I wouldn't put him back on it if the doctor thinks it's a reaction, penicillin allergies are not something to mess with. A lot of times my kids have finished their meds and still seem sick, but usually the medicine eventually takes care of it. The doctor will put him on a different medicine if he's not over the cold. An allergy can develop over time and you might not react another time, but have a severe reaction another time. My dad didn't develop a penicillin allergy until he was 40 or 50, then he felt like his throat was closing up, so take the doctors advice and ask for a different med if you think he needs it.

Hi A.,
Both myself and my 3-year-old daughter are allergic to the penicillins. Actually, she's allergic to most other antibiotics as well, so we are grappling with, "what doesn't cause a reaction?". Anyhow, we gave her Benedryl and they kept switching her prescription to other antibiotic families, to which she kept having reactions. The bottom line is, especially with ear infections and colds, they only last for 7-10 days or so, exactly for as long as prescriptions are usually consumed. So a doctor's advice was that maybe she didn't really need antibiotics for less severe things like ear infections and cold, which eventually go away on their own after running their course. For the time being, I have chosen this route (to let the non-severe infections clear up on their own - and they always seem to). But I would talk to a doctor about alternatives, other options, and other types of medication prescriptions that are not in the penicillin family: Ortho-somethings,I can't remember the others. Anyhow, I hope this helps,

My son had the same thing happen to him when he was 2. He's 5 now. He was taking Augmentin, which I believe is a stronger form of Amoxicillin. He had taken Amoxicillin before for ear infections and never had a problem, but about day 7 of the Augmentin he broke out in an all-body rash...lots of red welt-like areas all over him. It cleared up soon after discontinuing the medicine. So now I always tell doctors that he is allergic to Augmentin, and they use a different antiobiotic, and he doesn't have any problems. His ear infections never really returned after he turned 3. Hope your son's rash is clearing up...I remember it being really alarming for me, but it didn't seem to bother my son any! Good luck.

I have not experienced this, but it does sound like an allergic reaction or even possibly, a sensitivity. I'm not a doctor, but I am a nurse. An allergy to a medication (especially an antibiotic) can happen at anytime. It doesn't matter if the person has taken it several times before. It's just like any other allergy. For example, growing up, I loved and ate a lot of pork (sausage and bacon). As a kid, I had no problem with it; however, as a teen, I developed a food allergy to it, and now as an adult I'm totally allergic to it. The same goes for milk. I had no problem with milk growing up, but as a teen, I developed lactose-intolerance. The same holds true for medications. It's just your body's way of reacting to what it deems to be a foreign invader. You will want to keep this reaction in mind. Please have your baby's physician put in his chart that he has had a reaction to Amoxicillin. If he had a reaction to this medication, he will more than likely have a reaction to any -cillin family drug from now on, and the next time, it could be very dangerous for him. -Cillin allergies are one of the deadliest allergies other than peanuts and bee stings. Many people don't know they have them until it's too late. You don't want your baby to take that chance. Make sure that you keep this in mind and let other doctors know. You might even want to get a medical bracelet to put on your child.

the important thing to remember is that...regardless of the cause....this is a reaction to something.
my son lived on peanut butter & banana until he was 5 when he began reacting to it. Instead of getting better, the allergy has increased through the past few years....he now cannot be in the same room with peanuts. BUT, this allergy manifests only in a rash...never respiratory!
Sooo, be very aware that there could be more than one answer & it will take some time to determine the actual cause of this event.

My Son did the exact same thing.He had taken it several times before.We figured it was just safe to say he was allergic.They don't have to react before that to be allergic because you can develope allergies.My son's rash was even one of the worst the pediatrician had seen.I wouldn't do anything unless you think he's uncomfortable.Then you could do benedryl for the rash and tylenol or ear drops if you think he is in pain.If he starts back like he was acting before with the ear infection then take him back in,otherwise I wouldn't worry.

It is very common to take several exposures before an allergic reaction is present. I am allergic to pennicillans but took them several times when I was little before I developed an allergy to it. Its really not a big deal. If the ear infection comes back, there are plenty of other antibiotics that are perfectly safe and effective that doctors can prescribe. Definitely tell your pharmacy that your child developed a reaction to the medicine so they can note it in his profile, as well as any doctors you visit.

Bright red rash from head to toe? My youngest daughter had the same thing while takeing Amoxicillin. We were told to treat it as a penicillin allergy because they can't promise that it will never happen again and they can't tell us what will happen the next time (could be her air way that swells). It took a little while for the rash to go away (can't remember exaclty how long) and the only problem she had was with her ears and I had to sit and rub Benadryl cream on her all night. There are several other antibiotics that can be used that work just fine. Just watch his ear and if it looks like the ear infection did not go away then do antibiotics again and use a diffrent brand.

Sounds like he is allergic. My oldest developed an allergy to Amoxicillan after a few rounds of it. We now put him on the other 'family' of drugs and we have now problems. Good luck!

The rash is most likely caused by the Amoxicillin, although, there is a rash that is associated with strep throat. Has anyone checked him for strep throat. Most of the time when a child has an ear infection, they may have strep throat as well. He may not even have a sore throat. You should definately have it checked out. It may not be the case, but it is a thought. A lot of children get a rash with it as well as an ear infection. Hope he feels better!

My daughter had a rash all over her body once also. She had a cold and the doctor said it was part of the cold. Ask your doctor.

This is what the Pharmacists refer to as a "reaction" and not an "allergy"...although if he takes Amoxicillin again it may be a stronger reaction next time.
Talk to your Pharmacist about what to do...maybe some liquid benedryl if he is itchy from the rash??? A cool bath with Aveeno Oatmeal Bath will help too.
I am sure it will get better...and if the ear infection comes back there are other things to treat it with

My son and my sister's son had the same rash. It started on the 7th day of Amoxicillin. Our Drs. told us to finish the meds and just watch for any other reaction and from now on tell anyone who asks about allergies that they "have a reaction" to Amoxicillin. The rash does clear up but it really looks bad for a few days and took aboput a week or longer to go away.

Most ear infections will resolve on their own without antibiotics. So, I wouldnt' worry about that. My daughter was on meds all the time, which ended up causing her to have tubes, which then she still got them time after time. We elimated milk from her diet, and voila! No more ear infections. As long as the baby is not miserable or running a high fever, they can pass fine on their own. (we find this out after having 5 more children). And, antibiotics will not help a cold but make things worse. Now, he could have a viral rash, and again the ABx will make that worse. It may not be a penicillin allergy, but if he has been on them several times, he may very well develop an allergy, so I would avoid that JIC. Give him some yogurt if he will take it, and it should all pass in time.

I am not a doctor, and I didn't think you could get mono this young, but when I was in college (about 19 -20 yrs old) I got a "cold" according to three different doctors and they put me on Amoxicillin because I wasn't allergic to anything. Then I broke out with a "measle type rash" all over my body and had a hard time breathing if I did too much exercise- I swam in college. When i went back to the clinic doctors down there they told me I was allergic to penicillin and it's derivitives. When my parents finally brought me home and I walked into my doctor he immediately told me I had mono, I was NOT allergic to the amoxicillin or penicillin but the disease was and that is the reaction your body will have if the two get together.
I do not know if this is what is happening with your son, but that was my experience. If it will help you, please ask your doctor that question.
I hope he is doing well soon.

A couple things. I had skin rash problems and exzema quite often through my life and allergies. If you've used a chemical or exposed to something a lot you can become sensitized to it--which means you start reacting to it. You said he's used penicillin several times--that sounds like a lot--I believe he may have become sensitized to it. Also, have you made any changes during that time period in his diet? I learned as an adult that much of my skin problems was from food sensitivities; once I learned what I was sensitive to and altered my diet my skin problems mostly cleared up. Milk and citrus and meat(for me) are common culprits. Good luck.

My daughter had the exact same reaction after being on amoxicillin several times and the Dr. told me the same. He also told me that if it is a penicillin reaction it would be very dangerous to try it again. There are also many other drugs out there they can replace it with. Do be careful, my daughter also has a sensitivity to sulfa based drugs. Unfortunately we have to go with the more expensive drugs for her. Barb K.

I had a reaction to penicillin when I was 10 or 12 years old, I suffered ear infections a lot as a child and had taken it many many times and then suddenly one time my hands started itching horribly. They've told me to stay away from it ever since. It's odd when the body decides to respond, but trust your doctor and just wait for the chemical to get out of his system. There are lots of antibiotics on the market, so there are plenty of others he can take if his ear infection does come back. It's miserable, I know, both my kids had to have tubes and tonsils out before they were 2 they had so many infections.

Good luck!

My Daughter had the same reaction after being on Amox. for a week. It looked like prickly heat rash. She was just like yours...not bothered by it but I was. She luckily didn't get her sinus infection back after we stopped the meds. Good luck & hope your little guy feels better!

Hi A.,

My children are all grown now (27,25,21), but the middle one did not develop any allergies to Antibiotics until she was about 15, now she is allergic to ALL things with cillian in it, and most of every other Antibiotics on the market! With each medication the reactions became more deadly and happened much faster - be very aware when he is on anything and watch him closely!


By the time we recognize adverse reactions to many antibiotics, it is likely they have caused some amount of damage to normal digestive functions. Some reactions to antibiotics are allergies, but there are several other adverse reactions that cannot be classified as an allergy.

To learn a much more effective and far less dangerous way to stop ear infections, look for a competent chiropractor. I have shared an office with a chiropractor for years and have witnessed how safely and effectively he helps hundreds of children with ear/sinus infections.

As mothers, I feel it is important to research the effects of antibiotics. If we knew, I believe we would not keep giving them to our children for conditions that do have better solutions. I trust my doctors, but I do my research and know enough to choose trustworthy doctors. That is one reason I love MamaSource. Moms seeking knowledge and experience is always a good thing!

By the way. I recently learned that doctors are often not careful about avoiding medications and vaccines following head injuries. Kids who play soccer or football are more likely to have suffered a concussion. Medications and vaccines that can cause harm if they cross the blood/brain barrier are more likely to cross that barrier following a head injury. This can result in loss of neurological functions or siezure disorders. Yet, there appears to be no medical guidelines whatsoever telling doctors that those meds or vaccines are contraindicated for any amount of time following a concussion. It looks to me like it is up to the parents to know this and to protect their children.

I've seen this a couple of times working in a clinic, and while it could be an allergy, it could also be mono. Mono reacts to penicillan and causes an all over body rash. It sounds strange, I know, but yes, your 19 month old could have it. Ask your doctor about it.

I live in south-west MO and roseola is going around. My son got it and went to the Dr. the day his fever broke (the rash starts when the fever ends). She told us he had an ear infection and started him on an anti-biotic. (He did have a mild ear infection too.) Fortunately, I had noticed the rash before he started the medicine so I knew it wasn't a reaction to it. The rash didn't seem to bother him and once they break out they aren't contagious. It's fairly easily spread since they are contagious when you don't really realize they're even sick. Anyway...I just thought I would mention it. There is a chance the amoxicillin and rash aren't related.

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