Can amoxicillin cause depression? (Yes or no)

In this guide, we will try to answer the question ‘Can amoxicillin cause depression?’ In addition, we will also look at what is amoxicillin, how it works, and its side effects. The guide will also give a list of drugs that can cause depression and a few rare facts about antibiotics. 

Can amoxicillin cause depression? 

There is no direct link between amoxicillin and depression. However, amoxicillin has other side effects that are symptoms of depression such as loss of appetite, loss of sleep, risibility, etc. 

Amoxicillin is a kind of penicillin antibiotic, that is used in the treatment of infection caused by a certain bacteria. Not all but a few antibiotics are associated with depression as their side effect. Antibiotics like levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin, both belong to the family of fluoroquinolones, used to cure bacterial infections certainly cause depression. 

A study in the United Kingdom shows that one course of fluoroquinolones is associated with a 25% higher risk of depression. Furthermore, the study also found that one course of penicillin antibiotics increases the risk of depression by 23%, two courses and five-course increase the risk of depression by 40% and 56% respectively. 

Amoxicillin degenerates the immune system, as well as comprising our senses which may lead to depression. A recent study of Amoxicillin on rats also showed that with regular administration of amoxicillin, the swimming time in rats decreased significantly. It was also seen that serotonin levels in these rats had decreased after the administration. lack of serotonin or low serotonin is the main cause of depression. 

Serotonin is a brain chemical released by neurons. This neurotransmitter is one of the happy hormones that regulates the mood and affect of an individual. 

In addition to this, there are three cases of amoxicillin induced psychosis. 

A woman aged 30, showed manic symptoms after 10 days of the completion of the amoxicillin course. The symptoms, however, were resolved after 12 days. 

In another case study, a 55-year-old man, experienced hallucinations- auditory, visual, and tactile within hours of the first dose. 

Another case was found, where 63-year-old women experienced auditory and visual hallucinations after consuming amoxicillin. After the discontinuation of the course, the symptoms resolved in 3 days. 

Therefore, even if there is no direct answer of can amoxicillin cause depression, we are certain that it does have an impact on the person’s mental health. In addition, it certainly increases the risk for depression, by compromising the immune system of an individual. 

What is amoxicillin? 

Amoxicillin is a penicillin based, prescription antibiotic, usually used to fight a certain kind of bacteria in the body. It is used in combination therapy, meaning that it is prescribed with other drugs. 

It is used in the treatment of 

  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • infections of the ear, nose, throat, skin, and urinary tract. 

How does amoxicillin work?

Amoxicillin is available in immediate forms, extended forms, and chewable tablets. They are also available in the form of capsules and suspensions. All these kinds of tables are taken through the mouth. 

Amoxicillin enters the bloodstream and fights the bacteria. It avoids the bacteria from growing, therefore, reducing the infection. 

What are the side effects of amoxicillin? 

Like every drug has its own effects, it also has certain side effects. 

Common side effects

Among the more common side effects of amoxicillin include: 

  • diarrhea
  • stomach upset
  • headache
  • abnormal taste sense
  • skin rash
  • vaginal yeast infection

Rare side effects 

Less common side effects include:

  • allergic reactions like itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • dizziness
  • trouble sleeping
  • seizures
  • trouble passing urine, dark urine, or a decrease in the quantity of urine
  • unusually weak or tired
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Psychiatric side effects

Not to our surprise, amoxicillin has certain psychiatric side effects too. Some psychiatric side effects include: 

  • Encephalopathy
  • Irritability
  • Sedation
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Decreased level of consciousness
  • Myoclonus

3 astonishing facts about antibiotics

Antibiotics are used quite frequently by us. For any sort of infection in the body, our first go-to is popping antibiotics. Usually, antibiotics are a course of 3 or 5 days. One has to necessarily complete the course, in order for the medicine to work up to the mark. Antibiotics certainly are a lifesaver class of drugs. 

Thanks to antibiotics we have antidepressants. 

Astonishing, isn’t it? Yes, you read that right the forest antibiotic was an antidepressant. In 1882, when Robert Koch found that it was bacteria that was causing tuberculosis, various sanitoriums were established to keep the spread of infection in check. However, in the year 1955, an antibiotic called isoniazid was prepared to treat TB patients. To their surprise, the patients reacted completely differently. They started laughing and jumping around in the corridors. To their amazement,  the researchers found that they had just made the first antidepressant. They figured that the apparent antibiotic,  isoniazid prevented the breakdown of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and epinephrine, increasing their presence in the body, making people happier and jolly. 

Antibiotics can affect brain development

Not to our surprise, antibiotics ahs certain side effects. Many mothers are unaware of the fact that the intake of antibiotics during pregnancy can lead to various complications. For starters, it can affect the baby and increase the rates of schizophrenia, autism, anxiety, and depression in the child. 

In addition, if there is a significant amount of antibiotic intake in children, it can certainly degenerate the immune system. At the time that we must befriend a few bacterias, the intake of antibiotics will kill them, leading to a stunted microbiota. These children are likely to get IBD and depression later in their life. 

Antibiotics can cause and cure psychosis 

Doctors all around the world have reported that penicillin can accuse a wide range of mental complications among humans. It can cause seizures, aphasia, spasms, psychosis, confusion, lethargy, anxiety, and coma. Studies show that penicillin may react with the neurotransmitter GABA, causing its reduction. 

However, it also works otherwise.  Meaning, if you have heard about Hepatic encephalopathy, it is a liver problem that affects the brain. This was also documented by Hippocrates, as people with liver infarction and bad temper. The main cause of this is increased ammonia. Rifaximin, an antibiotic that acts directly on gut bacteria, causing a sense of relief. 

Drugs that can cause depression 

In this section of the guide, we will give a list of drugs that can cause depression or show some symptoms of depression. All drugs have side effects. Some may range from mild nausea to a severe depressive episode. 

Following is a list of 7 drugs that can cause depression: 


These drugs are generally used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and Sjögren’s syndrome. They affect serotonin production in the brain. For example, cortisone, prednisone, methylprednisolone, and triamcinolone. are a few commonly known Corticosteroids


These drugs are usually used in the treatment of anxiety and sleep-related disorders. They are also used for muscle relaxation. In certain situations, these drugs may lead to depression. These are central nervous system depressants. This means that they slow down the CNS and its functions. 


Research has shown that an increased intake of beta-blockers is linked with depression. Beta-blockers are drugs used in the treatment of high blood pressure,  chest pain, migraines, etc. 


Just like benzodiazepines, Anticonvulsants, also known as anti-seizure drugs are CNS depressants. Drugs like topiramate and gabapentin are known to contribute to depression. Any CNS depressant is highly linked with depression. Anticonvulsants are now used to treat not just seizures but also bipolar disorder, pain from damaged nerves, and fibromyalgia. 


The very well-known and the most addictive pain killer of time, consumed by half of the American population is also associated with an increased risk of depression. A study found that all those who were prescribed opioids were at a greater risk of depression, irrespective of the dosage. 

Hormonal birth control

Most of the contraceptive pills or other birth control methods have a direct impact on testosterone and progesterone. This imbalance can later lead to various symptoms of depression. However, these pills work differently with different women. For some, it may help to restore the balance, while it can do harm to others. 


Interferon is a drug used to treat Hepatitis C, cancer, and viral infections. About 40% of people who have taken Interferon have shown the symptoms of depression. Although these symptoms do go away, once the medication is stopped. 

Other gruds like pain relievers, antibiotics, acne medications, allergy medications, thyroid medications Anticholinergic Drugs, too cause depression. 

If you are ever taking any of these drugs, and experience the slightest change in your mood, inform your doctor. The doctor will know what to do or how to avoid these episodes of depression. Do not ignore these side effects, as they may turn into a problem of their own. 


In this guide, we have tried to answer the question ‘Can amoxicillin cause depression?’ In addition, we have also looked at what is amoxicillin, how it works, and its side effects. The guide has also given a list of drugs that can cause depression and a few rare facts about antibiotics. 

FAQs: Can amoxicillin cause depression? 

What is the most common side effect of amoxicillin?

The most common side effect of amoxicillin is nausea or diarrhea. The liquid form of amoxicillin can cause coloring of the teeth, however, this can be cleaned by brushing. 

What should you avoid while taking amoxicillin?

Dairy products may interact with the drug amoxicillin. Therefore food products like milk, cheese, cottage cheese, etc should be avoided at first least three hours after the intake of the drug. In addition, grapefruit juice or other supplements may also reduce the effect of the antibiotic. 

How long does it take for amoxicillin to leave your system?

Every drug has a half-life when the drug starts to work. The half-life of amoxicillin is 61.3 minutes. Amoxicillin stays in the body for 6 to 8 hours, says research. 

How many days should you take amoxicillin?

Like any other antibiotic, amoxicillin is also given for 3 days. However, depending on your condition, your doctor may perspective for 3 to 7 days. You need to make sure that you complete the entire course of treatment. 

Can antibiotics make you sleepy?

Yes, antibiotics make you feel sleepy. Instead of sleepy, it could just be that you are constantly tired and drained out. This is actually a good sign. This would mean that the antibiotic is working and fighting the infection. 

Does amoxicillin weaken your immune system?

Research has shown that any kind of antibiotic in general, destroys the immune system and weakens their ability to fight infections on their own. 


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