Pivmecillinam for infection (Selexid)

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Make sure you tell your doctor if you are allergic to penicillin. Pivmecillinam is a type of penicillin - do not take it if you are allergic to penicillin.

Take pivmecillinam tablets with, or straight after, a meal. Make sure you have plenty of water to drink as you take the tablets, and sit or stand upright as you swallow.

Space your doses out evenly over the day and complete the full course of the antibiotic, even if you feel your infection has cleared up.

If you have an allergic reaction (such as any swelling around your mouth, any difficulties breathing or a red rash) contact a doctor straightaway.

Type of medicinePenicillin antibiotic
Used forInfections
Also calledSelexid®
Available asTablets

Pivmecillinam is used to treat bacterial infections, such as some urinary tract infections. It works by killing the bacteria causing the infection.

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking pivmecillinam it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you have an allergic condition, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine. This is particularly important if you have ever had a bad reaction to a penicillin antibiotic.
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If you have any difficulties swallowing.
  • If you think you may have a blockage in your digestive system.
  • If you have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.
  • If you have a condition that reduces the amount of a substance called carnitine in your body.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • Before you start this antibiotic, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about pivmecillinam and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take pivmecillinam exactly as your doctor tells you to. You may be asked to take one or two tablets, three or four times daily, depending upon the type of infection you have. Your doctor will tell you which dose is right for you, and this will also be printed on the label of the pack to remind you. Space the doses out evenly during the day.
  • You should take pivmecillinam with a meal. Swallow the tablets whole - do not chew or crush the tablets. Have plenty to drink as you take the tablets (at least half a glassful), and make sure you are sitting or standing upright so that the tablets don't become stuck in your throat and cause irritation and/or ulcers.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take one as soon as you remember. Try to take the correct number of doses each day, but do not take two doses at the same time.
  • Even if you feel your infection has cleared up, keep taking this antibiotic until the course is finished (unless you are told to stop by your doctor). This is to prevent the infection from coming back. A course of treatment with this antibiotic usually lasts for a few days. If you still feel unwell after finishing the course, go back to see your doctor.
  • If you have an infection that keeps recurring or is chronic (long-term), you may be prescribed pivmecillinam to take over a longer period of time. If so, your doctor will ask to see you on a regular basis so that your progress can be monitored. You will need to have a blood test from time to time to check that your kidneys and liver are working properly.
  • Some people develop thrush (redness and itchiness in the mouth or vagina) after taking a course of antibiotics. If this happens to you, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
  • If you are using combined oral hormonal contraception (the 'pill'), additional contraceptive precautions such as condoms are not required during a course of this antibiotic unless you are sick or have diarrhoea. If you need further advice about this, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • This antibiotic may stop the oral typhoid vaccine from working. If you are having any vaccinations, make sure the person treating you knows that you are taking this medicine.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with pivmecillinam. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Common pivmecillinam side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicineWhat can I do if I experience this?
Feeling or being sick, indigestion, abdominal painStick to simple foods - avoid rich or spicy meals
DiarrhoeaDrink plenty of water to replace any lost fluids. If the diarrhoea becomes severe, or contains blood, let your doctor know straightaway

Important: if you develop an itchy rash, swollen face or mouth, or have difficulty breathing, these may be signs that you are allergic to a penicillin antibiotic. Do not take any more tablets and speak with your doctor or go to your local accident and emergency department straightaway.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.

If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • Manufacturer's PIL, Selexid® Tablets; Leo Laboratories Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated May 2011.
  • British National Formulary; 66th Edition (September 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Helen Huins
Document ID:
1469 (v26)
Last Checked:
Next Review:
The Information Standard - certified member

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