Both of these drugs are antibiotics, and as such are used in the treatment of bacterial infections. Since both are antibiotic treatments then obviously they will have similarities, a few of which will be discussed prior to outlining the differences between penicillin and amoxicillin.

Penicillin and amoxicillin come from the same penicillium mold, and are considered to be a broad-spectrum antibiotic. That is, they will both act on gram-positive, and gram-negative types of bacteria.

These two antibiotic drugs can cause allergic reactions and can result in adverse body reactions in susceptible people, which may lead to stomach pain, and nausea.

Amoxicillin is an enhanced form of penicillin. It carries an additional amino group compared to the beta-lactam penicillin, which gives it greater fighting abilities against gram-negative bacteria. Penicillin is produced synthetically while amoxicillin is considered to be only semi-synthetic.

Amoxicillin is absorbed better than penicillin, and can withstand the effects of gastric acids, enabling the drug to have greater circulation in the bloodstream, thus increasing its anti bacterial potency.

A further difference between the two types of drug is that the course of treatment required by the use of amoxicillin is shorter than that for penicillin. Amoxicillin completes the treatment in a shorter time.

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