Clavulanic acid and its salts and esters. The acid is a suicide inhibitor of bacterial beta-lactamase enzymes from Streptomyces clavuligerus. Administered alone, it has only weak antibacterial activity against most organisms, but given in combination with beta-lactam antibiotics prevents antibiotic inactivation by microbial lactamase. [PubChem]
For use with Amoxicillin, clavulanic acid is suitable for the treatment of infections with <i>Staph. aureus</i> and <i>Bacteroides fragilis</i>, or with beta-lactamase producing <i>H. influenzae</i> and <i>E. coli</i>.
Clavulanic acid, produced by the fermentation of <i>Streptomyces Clavuligerus</i>, is a beta-lactam structurally related to the penicillins. Clavulanic acid is used in conjunction with amoxicillin for the treatment of bronchitis and urinary tract, skin, and soft tissue infections caused by beta-lactamase producing organisms.
Mechanism of action
Clavulanic acid competitively and irreversibly inhibits a wide variety of beta-lactamases, commonly found in microorganisms resistant to penicillins and cephalosporins. Binding and irreversibly inhibiting the beta-lactamase results in a restauration of the antimicrobial activity of beta-lactam antibiotics against lactamase-secreting-resistant bacteria. By inactivating beta-lactamase (the bacterial resistance protein), the accompanying penicillin/cephalosporin drugs may be made more potent as well.
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