When your doctor or dentist prescribes an antibiotic, its purpose is to help your body overcome infections caused by bacteria. The antibiotics perform the role of fighting these bacterial infections, but you will need to know how to increase their efficiency. We recommend you follow these tips to make the time that you’re on antibiotics a little easier and more comfortable.
- Always follow the dosage instructions. If you’re taking Keflex, for example, then you may be taking four pills a day. Try to take antibiotics prescribed at about the same time every day. This ensures that you have a level amount of medicine in your system. You’re also more likely to remember to take each pill every day if you make a routine of it.
- Learn about the antibiotic you’re taking. The patient literature that came with your prescription will explain the drug’s intended uses, the side effects, and more. You need to know these things so that you can be sure you’re taking the right medication, and so that you can recognize potential problems that may arise from taking an antibiotic.
- You should also know the possible counteractions from various drugs you’re taking. Birth control, for example, is not as effective when you’re on antibiotics. Be sure that your pharmacist knows what you’re taking so that they can give you the information you need.
- Antibiotics can make you sick to your stomach. Try eating some toast or applesauce before you take the pill. The nausea is often worse on an empty stomach. You can also drink ginger ale or lemon-lime soda to ease nausea.
- Get plenty of rest. Your body is working hard to fight infection. Not sleeping enough will prolong the problem because your body will have to overcome this other obstacle while fighting the infection.
- Drink plenty of water. Your system needs to be well hydrated so that blood can transport medications where your infection is located. The recommended amount is eight glasses of water a day.
- Take all of the antibiotics. Don’t stop when you feel better. If you do, the infection can come back. In many cases, the problem may be worse than before. Take all of the pills as prescribed and follow up with your doctor or dentist afterward.
- You should not have leftover antibiotics when you’re finished. However, you might sometimes end up with some extra pills left. This can happen when, for example, your doctor or dentist changes your prescriptions. You should safely dispose of the old medication. Saving a partial course of antibiotics “just in case I need it later” will not do you any good. In fact, it can be harmful to consume antibiotics you’ve had for a long time. If you need antibiotics again in the future, you should visit your doctor or dentist again.
Side Effects of Antibiotics
The use of antibiotics is generally safe. However, there are a few side effects. The most common side effects include mild upset stomach, diarrhea, or soft stools. Although less common, allergic reactions can be a side effect of the use of antibiotics.
Contact your healthcare provider or doctor immediately if you experience the following serious side effects:
- Severe abdominal cramps or watery diarrhea
- White patches located on the tongue
- Swelling of the tongue, face or lips, hives, rash, fainting, or shortness of breath
- Life-threatening allergic reactions or antibiotic-resistant infections
- Vaginal discharge or itching
Antibiotics alter the beneficial bacteria in your gut and sometimes result in an overgrowth of bacterial Clostridium Difficile. Tell your health care providers immediately if your diarrhea has worsened from using antibiotics. C Diff infections may cause severe diarrhea and possibly deadly colitis or intestinal inflammations.
Typical antibiotic effects include nausea, diarrhea, and nausea. Ask your doctor what drugs have possible side effects for your medication. Inform your doctor immediately if you experience any side effects during treatment. Antibiotics may mix with another drug making them less effective. Some medications can cause an antibiotic or any other drug to have a worse effect. These symptoms often cause dehydration and other serious problems such as dehydration. Before you use antibiotics, make sure to tell your physician if you are currently taking any other medications.
Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Most penicillin can be used during pregnancy with the usual dosage. Tell your medical professional about pregnancy and breastfeeding to have them prescribe the most suitable antibiotic for your changing body and your fetus.
Do Antibiotics Affect Birth Control?
Some antibiotics reduce and prevent the production of estrogen affecting birth control. On top of all that, the drug rifampin has been known to be less useful for pregnant women under the brands Rifadin and Rhimacturan.
Taking Probiotics With Antibiotics May Help With Side Effects
The combination or mix of probiotics in your medication could help reduce the adverse reaction. Probiotic food also includes fermented foods such as sauerkraut or yogurt. The most frequently used probiotics for antibiotic-associated diarrhea are Lactobacillus Rhamnosus and Saccharomyces Boulardii. Before you take probiotic pills, you may want to check with your doctor if it’s safe and effective before taking it.
How Do Antibiotics Work?
Antibiotics are a drug that treats bacterial infections. These medications kill bacteria or slow their growth. It is common to find antibiotics only prescribed by your doctor. Sometimes antibiotic creams and ointments can be bought over-the-counter.
Antibiotics typically start to work immediately after you take them. However, you may not feel much better for up to three days. How quickly you can recover after antibiotics depends on the infection you are looking to treat. It’s best to complete the antibiotic regimen to address your infection completely and may help in preventing antibiotic resistance.
What Is Antibiotic Resistance?
Antibiotic resistance is when bacteria and fungi develop defenses against drugs that are designed to kill them. Some antibiotics have been used so widely to the point that the bacteria have become antibiotic-resistant. This occurs through natural genetic mutation, and as the bacteria grows, the resistance traits transfer. The most common antibiotic-resistant infections are methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus pneumonia, and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae.
Thus, certain antibiotics are useless against these germs, and resistant infections can occur as a result.
However, there are ways to reduce antibiotic resistance, such as:
- Only take antibiotics as directed by the doctor or pharmacist
- Prepare food safely by cooking and cleaning to prevent the contamination of bacteria
- Get your annual vaccinations like influenza vaccinations to prevent viral infections and illnesses
- Know the early signs and symptoms so you can treat them before the reaction spreads
- Wash your hands regularly to prevent any bacterial infection
- Make sure you take antibiotics appropriately, meaning for the right dosage and length of time.
How Do Doctors Determine Which Antibiotics are Used?
Although there are over 100 antibiotics, they fall under 7 types of antibiotics. Your doctor will choose the antibiotic to counter the type of bacteria that has most likely caused the infection. For example, patients with ear infections will be taking an antibiotic that combats that specific type of bacteria that commonly causes ear infections. This also means that people with sinus infections won’t be taking the same antibiotics as those with a urinary tract.
What Should I Do If I Forget My Dose?
If it is nearly time for the next dose, avoid missed doses and follow your regular schedule. Don’t take double doses if you’ve missed one. If two different doses are taken too close to each other, it can increase the risk of side effects.
Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Antibiotics?
There can be a serious risk when you drink excessive alcohol with most antibiotics. The safety of drinking a particular quantity of alcohol during antibiotic use may depend on individual users. Always consult your doctor before drinking alcohol with antibiotics and follow your doctor’s orders.
Can You Eat Dairy While Taking Antibiotics?
If you’re not allergic to dairy, you could be required to wait for at least three hours after your antibiotic use to drink milk. Dietary products such as butter cheese, milk, and yogurt can interfere with antibiotic treatment.
Overuse Of Antibiotics
Antibiotics treat bacterial infections and non-virulent infections. However, the overuse of antibiotics can increase antibiotic resistance. It has been estimated that at least a third of all antibiotics used in humans are unneeded or not effective. The incorrect therapy of an unknown antibiotic-resistant bacteria may promote antimicrobial resistance in the bacteria.
Antibiotics are also not the best treatment for most sore throats caused by viruses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Otherwise, antibiotics might attack harmless or beneficial bacteria, and result in increased antibiotic resistance in the body.
Taking a course of antibiotics might not be the most pleasant experience for everyone but they are still a highly effective treatment for bacterial infections. The above tips will make the medication easier to tolerate and more effective so you can derive the most benefits from the medication and feel better sooner.
What if I Have More Questions?
Antibiotics can be rough on your system. We know that can take a toll on your quality of life. Please, don’t hesitate to speak with a pharmacist about how we can personalize your care. Fort Worth Pharmacy’s number one priority is always your health. Our pharmacists are specially trained in pharmaceutical compounding and work closely with your doctor to provide quality and reliable medications.