Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Amoxicillin Rash

Definition

  • A harmless rash that occurs when a child is taking an antibiotic. The rash is not from a drug allergy.
  • Occurs in 10% of children who are taking amoxicillin
  • Usually begins on the 5th day after starting the drug (range 2-16 days)
  • Usually lasts 3 days (range 1-6 days) whether or not the drug is stopped

Call or Return If

  • Rash changes to hives
  • Rash becomes itchy
  • Rash lasts more than 6 days
  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Your child becomes worse

About This Topic

Symptoms

  • Pink or red spots
  • Small flat spots that do not itch
  • Always on the main body (chest, stomach and back)
  • May spread to the face

Causes

  • Most often, the rash is caused by a virus (such as Roseola). It's not related to the drug at all.
  • Sometimes, it's a harmless rash that is a side effect of the drug. This also is not an allergy.
  • True drug allergies most often cause a rash called hives. Hives are raised pink spots with white centers. Their size, shape, and location change often. Again, even most hives are caused by viral infections. When tested, only 10% of children with hives truly have an allergy.

After Care Advice

Overview:
  • A skin rash can occur in about 10% of children on amoxicillin.
  • Most of the time, it's caused by a virus, not by the drug.
  • It's a harmless side effect. It only affects the skin.
  • It does not mean there's any allergy to the antibiotic.
Keep Giving the Amoxicillin:
  • This is not an allergic reaction.
  • Keep your child on the drug until it's gone.
  • The rash will go away just as quickly whether or not the drug is stopped.
  • Your child can take this drug in the future when needed. Most likely, no rash will occur.
Rash Treatment:
  • The rash needs no treatment.
  • It will go away on its own.
What to Expect:
  • The rash usually lasts 3 days, with a range of 1 to 6 days.
Return to School:
  • Your child can go back to school as soon as they feel better.
  • This rash cannot be spread to others.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2020 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
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