Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How often can you take antibiotics?"
I had to take antibiotics for one condition and now a different doctor wants me to take them again. Its only been a month since the last time. Is this safe? I don't know if I should take antibiotics this much. Won't it just make me more sick?
Antibiotics are medications that are used to treat various different types of infections. When physicians decide to use antibiotics to treat an infection, it means that infection is severe enough that allowing the body to get rid of the infection on its own is too dangerous. It also means that some of the risks of taking antibiotics are outweighed by the potential benefits. You are right that taking antibiotics too often can be a bad thing. Taking too many antibiotics can result in the development of more difficult to treat infections. Other complications include diarrhea and infections of the bowel. These complications of antibiotics occur most of the time when powerful intravenous antibiotics are delivered in the hospital. You taking antibiotics twice in the last month is is unlikely to cause any problems will will not likely make you more sick. Keep in mind that the vast majority of the time they do more good than harm. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician (or whoever prescribed you the antibiotic). Have this doctor explain the exact reason why the antibiotics are being prescribed and what is most likely to be gained by taking them. In addition, your doctor can review with you any side effects that your antibiotic may have.
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