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What colour is amoxicillin 250mg 5ml?

Amoxicillin is a common antibiotic used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. It comes in different strengths and formulations, including a 250mg/5ml oral suspension. But what colour is this particular liquid form of amoxicillin? Keep reading to find out.

Amoxicillin is in a class of antibiotics called penicillins. It works by interfering with the bacteria’s cell wall formation, which weakens the cell wall and eventually leads to the death of the bacteria. Amoxicillin can treat infections caused by both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

Some common infections that amoxicillin is used for include:

  • Ear infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Skin infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Lower respiratory tract infections like bronchitis and pneumonia

Amoxicillin comes in capsules, tablets, chewable tablets, and liquid suspensions. The liquid form is often prescribed for children who have difficulty swallowing pills. The 250mg/5ml strength is a commonly used dosage for kids.

What Gives Amoxicillin Its Colour?

The characteristic colour of amoxicillin comes from its chemical structure. Amoxicillin consists of two parts:

  1. A core penicillin structure common to all penicillin antibiotics
  2. A trihydroxybenzyl ring that gives amoxicillin enhanced activity against bacteria compared to original penicillin

It’s this trihydroxybenzyl ring that contains multiple hydroxyl (-OH) groups. These hydroxyl groups are capable of hydrogen bonding, which allows chemical dyes to bind to them and produce colour.

Typical Colour of 250mg/5ml Amoxicillin

The most common colour of amoxicillin 250mg/5ml oral suspension is pinkish-white or light pink. This peach-like hue comes from added inactive ingredients called excipients.

Here are some typical excipients used in amoxicillin 250mg/5ml suspensions and their purpose:

Excipient Purpose
Sucrose Sweetener
Sodium benzoate Preservative
Disodium edetate Chelating agent
Silicon dioxide Glidant
Xanthan gum Thickener
Sodium citrate Buffer
Citric acid Acidifier
Sodium carboxymethylcellulose Suspending agent
Flavourings Improve taste
Colourings Aesthetics

The colouring agents provide the light pinkish hue. They are added not just for aesthetics but also to help differentiate concentrations. Since amoxicillin requires precise dosing based on weight and infection, colours help distinguish between formulations.

Variations in Colour

While light pink is standard, there can be some small variations in colour between different brands or manufacturers of 250mg/5ml amoxicillin suspension. This is because inactive ingredients may differ slightly.

For example, some versions may contain more sucrose and less xanthan gum, or different specific colouring agents. But in general, most are a light pink/peach colour.

Here are some possible colour variations:

  • Pale pink
  • Light peach
  • Pinkish-orange
  • Dusty rose

However, if the liquid is a dramatically different colour like dark brown or blue, something may be wrong with that specific batch. Discolouration can happen if the suspension was not stored properly.

Changes After Mixing or Over Time

When first constituted by the pharmacist, 250mg/5ml amoxicillin suspension is a uniform pale pink colour throughout. But over time, some separation of the solids can occur.

After sitting for a while, the heavier pink particulate matter may settle on the bottom, leaving a slightly lighter supernatant liquid on top. However, this is normal for oral suspensions and does not affect the safety or efficacy.

The settling occurs because the suspended solid particles are inherently unstable. But gentle agitation like shaking or inversion easily redisperses the pink solids back into the liquid to reconstitute a homogenously coloured mixture.

The colour may also temporarily lighten after mixing or reconstitution with water or formula in a baby’s bottle or dosing syringe. But once again, agitation will redistribute the colour evenly.

Changes in Colour Over the Course of Therapy

As a child takes amoxicillin over several days, the colour of the remaining liquid may gradually intensify. This happens as doses are withdrawn from the original bottle so the concentration effectively increases.

For example, if half the volume is taken over 5 days, the remaining half will be twice as concentrated. So the light pink colour will be twice as dark at the end of therapy compared to the beginning.

However, this colour change is expected and does not make the remaining medicine unsafe or less effective if taken as prescribed before the expiry date.

Improper Storage Can Cause Colour Changes

While typical approved colour variation can occur with 250mg/5ml amoxicillin as described, drastic discolouration may be a sign of improper storage conditions.

For example, extremely dark brown or black discolouration can happen if the antibiotic suspension is exposed to excessive heat or sunlight. This can degrade the amoxicillin and inactive ingredients, altering the hue.

If dramatic colour changes occur, the medicine should not be taken. Contact a pharmacist or doctor for a new unexpired properly stored bottle.

Colour Differences Between Brands

In addition to minor variations in colour within brands of 250mg/5ml amoxicillin, there can also be more notable differences between manufacturer brands.

For example, the brand name Augmentin suspension tends to be a darker salmon hue, while the generic house brands are lighter peach-pink. This table compares some colours:

Brand Colour
Augmentin Salmon
Amoxicillin Actavis Light pink
Amoxicillin Sandoz Peach
Ranbaxy Amoxicillin Pinkish-orange

The reasons for these cross-brand variations can include different excipient recipes, manufacturing processes, and quality control colour specifications.

Colour Consistency Critical for Proper Dosing

Although some colour variation is allowed with the 250mg/5ml concentration of amoxicillin, maintaining uniformity within a given manufacturer’s brand is critical. Reliable consistent colour helps ensure proper dosing.

For example, if half of a bottle is a darker pink than the other half, the concentration would not be equal. This could lead to improper dosing and ineffective treatment.

That’s why stringent pharmaceutical manufacturing and quality control standards enforce colour uniformity batch to batch. Any deviations outside an accepted specification require investigation and potential product recall.

How to Take Amoxicillin 250mg/5ml

When prescribed 250mg/5ml amoxicillin for your child, it’s important to properly reconstitute, store, and administer the oral suspension.

Here are some tips for giving amoxicillin 250mg/5ml properly:

  • Shake the bottle well before each dose to evenly mix any settled powder
  • Measure only with the provided measuring spoon or oral syringe for accurate dosing
  • Refrigerate and discard any unused portion after 10 days to prevent discolouration
  • Complete the entire course of therapy even if symptoms improve to prevent recurrence
  • Give doses about 12 hours apart with or without food
  • Mix the dose with water, juice, or formula if preferred

Dosing is based on the child’s weight and severity of infection. Follow the doctor’s instructions closely and contact them if you have any questions or concerns about the colour or taking the antibiotic.


Amoxicillin 250mg/5ml oral suspension is typically a light pinkish colour. This comes from added inactive colouring ingredients. Some minor variations can occur between formulations, but major discolouration may indicate improper storage.

Maintaining uniform colour batch to batch is important for consistent dosing. Always be sure to shake the suspension well before use, properly measure doses, and complete the full course of therapy.

While the colour may intensify over time or become lighter when mixed, these changes are normal and the medicine is still effective if taken as directed. Following the doctor’s instructions for reconstitution, storage, and dosing will provide the best results.