Best Way To Take Antibiotics

Pill bottle

If you think you might have an infection, first try to do everything you can to physically get rid of it on your own. That means eating well, drinking plenty of water and getting lots of rest.  Many small infections can be managed this way.  How do you know when it’s time to see a doctor? If you are experiencing fever multiple days in a row and or your symptoms are persisting or getting worse, even when you are doing all the right things. It’s time to go to the doctor.

There are two mains ways to get infected. Your body can get overtaken by either a virus or bad bacteria. Many people today go to doctors expecting to get antibiotics to help them get rid of viruses. Unfortunately, if you have a virus, an antibiotic will not work.  Viruses usually just need to run their course. You need to stay home and sleep, eat well and drink lots of fluids, especially water. In most cases it will be gone in a week.

You doctor has told you that you have a bacterial infection? Next, your doctor will try to decide what antibiotic to give you. Just like there are many different types of bacterial infections, there are many different types of antibiotics. Just because you used penicillin for your last infection doesn’t mean that’s the right antibiotic for this situation.  Different antibiotics focus on different areas of the body and different types of bacteria.  Ask your doctor about the different types being considered. If there is an antibiotic on the list that you had difficulty with in the past, speak up! It’s probably not your only option. If you’ve had success with an antibiotic, let the doctor know. There is also a new rule of thumb. If you have frequent infections and have taken the same antibiotic each time, the doctor may suggest a completely different antibiotic that may finally knock the bacteria completely out of your system. They may also suggest a different antibiotic to prevent your body’s bacteria from building up a tolerance to it. Either way, follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter, even if you dread taking antibiotics. Worst case scenario is you have to make a phone call if the antibiotic is not working or is causing you a lot of trouble. They will recommend a different course of action at that time.

You are now home and ready to take your antibiotics. Take it ALL, take it in regular intervals and Do Not skip a pill. It’s so important to keep an even amount of the drug in your system at all times.  If you skip or delay a pill, it’s like holding back some of the soldiers from the war on your illness. You want all forces on the ground consistently battling those bacteria! Do not give that bacteria an opening to invade!

How can you make it simple to take antibiotics correctly? First, make sure to take them with food every time.  I find it best to schedule a meal at the intervals the doctor suggests. If it’s twice a day, I have one at breakfast and one at dinner, and make sure they are 12 hours apart. If it’s 4 times a day I have it at breakfast, lunch, dinner and have a late night snack just before I go to bed, trying to keep them 6 hours apart.  The doctor may suggest taking 2 pills right away. If you have a sensitive stomach, take them an hour or two apart but then get the rest on a regular schedule.

Antibiotics have been known to kill the good bacteria in your digestive track and a woman’s reproductive organs. That causes an imbalance in the body which can result in digestive issues and yeast infections. There are ways to minimize these side effects. Eat about half of your meal before you take the antibiotic and then eat the remainder of your meal to sandwich the pill. This will slow down the release of the antibiotic against the stomach lining so it reduces the chances of stomach issues.

Watch your diet as well. Avoid acidic, spicy or high fiber foods that may increase your digestive upset. Drink plenty of water. When you are sick, your body requires more fluids to flush your system. It will speed up your recovery. Avoid alcohol and caffeine which can cause dehydration. Minimize salt which causes you to retain the fluids that really should be flushing out of your body.  Minimize sugar which is a staple food for bacteria and yeast to grow. These all put more strain on a body trying to battle infection.

You’ve always heard to eat yogurt or take probiotics when on antibiotics. The idea is it will replenish the good bacteria in your body that the antibiotic is killing off.  There is an issue with this. If you take these together, they can possibly cancel each other’s effectiveness. To put it bluntly, the antibiotic will kill the probiotic and neither is doing you any good.  If you know from experience that probiotics are necessary to prevent a yeast infection or lingering digestive issues, you will want to take your probiotics in between your pill intervals. If your antibiotics are twice a day, then eat yogurt or take your probiotics at lunch.

In the end, following these tips will allow your antibiotics to work at their best. Hopefully, at the same time, these tips will simplify the process for you and make your experience taking them less painful.

I hope you feel better soon!