At our age we may have been around antibiotics for a long time. For ourselves, our children, maybe even our grandchildren. We tend to start taking it for granted. We are often in a hurry to leave the doctor’s clinic to start our course of treatment. But to make your antibiotic medication as effective as possible be patient (no pun intended) in getting these answers before you leave the doctor’s office or pharmacy. And following the directions and being aware of the risks making it an easier time getting out of the medical condition you have. Happy healing. Team RetyrSmart
Making antibiotics do their job well for you. Some questions to ask
Make your antibiotic medication as effective as possible by getting these answers before you leave the doctor’s office or pharmacy.
Why am I taking this medication?
Every patient should verify and understand the rationale as to why they’re being prescribed an antibiotic. Taking unnecessary antibiotics can make bacteria resistant to the drugs, so have an open discussion with your doctor to confirm your prescription is the best option.
When should I take this?
There’s a difference between taking three times a day versus every eight hours. Antibiotics work best when taken at a consistent time between doses by keeping the right amount of the medication in your bloodstream. Instead of taking a pill with every meal, for instance, you and your doctor might find that a better timeframe would be as soon as you wake up, during a midday snack, and right before bed.
Should my antibiotic be taken with food?
Eating when you take medication could affect how the drug is absorbed in your system. Taking an antibiotic with food could prevent nausea from a drug that might irritate the stomach.. But it’s even more important to follow directions if a medication is meant to be taken with an empty stomach, because the food might block the drug from being absorbed in the bloodstream.
Are there any foods I should avoid while on this medication?
Some medications may react badly with certain foods. For instance, dairy products make tetracycline less effective because the calcium in the food binds with the antibiotic so your body doesn’t absorb as much. Make sure you’re aware of any foods that might get in the way of your healing.
Should I drink a full glass of water with my medication?
A glass of water can dilute stomach contents and help get an antibiotic through before your belly can get irritated, Tomaka says. While drinking enough water can help prevent nausea from most medications, other drugs need a full glass for proper absorption.
Should I take a probiotic, too?
Not all the bacteria in your body makes you sick; some in your stomach are essential to a healthy bowel or reproductive system. But antibiotics don’t recognize which are which. When medications attack good bacteria, you might end up with an upset stomach, UTI, or yeast infection. To prevent those side effects, your doctor might recommend eating probiotic-rich yogurt or taking a probiotic supplement.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
In theory, you’ll take every pill the perfect amount of time apart. In reality, there’s a good chance you’ll forget and take it a bit too late. It’s important to know ahead of time what to do if you miss a dose so you’re not scrambling for information when it’s late at night. Some medications will work best if you take the medicine as soon as you remember, while others should wait until the time, you’d usually take your next dose.
When should I start to feel better?
You should always finish a prescription instead of quitting once your symptoms go away, because the bacteria in your body might still be at unsafe levels, Still, it’s a good idea to know how soon you might start to feel healthy again. Usually if it’s been two to three days and you’re not feeling better, you need to call the doctor and go back because it’s either not the right choice of medication or something else is going on.
What antibiotic side effects might I expect?
Side effects usually only occur in a very low percentage of those who take an antibiotic, but it’s important to be aware of what possible of reactions your body could have. Some medications could cause shortness of breath, while others might make you break out in hives. Find out in advance what symptoms to look out for, and have a plan if those side effects do occur.
Am I able to crush the pill?
If you have trouble swallowing pills, check with a doctor before crushing it, because it might not absorb the same way a whole capsule would, Young says. Many antibiotics also have a liquid form available, which could be a better option.
Is this antibiotic safe with other medications I take?
Your doctor will likely ask what other medications you take to avoid a reaction, but don’t leave out easily forgotten drugs like birth control pills or over-the-counter supplements and vitamins. Your pharmacist or doctor might not be aware of every medicine you take, so make sure you provide an updated list before starting an antibiotic.