5 Rules to Follow During Prolonged Antibiotic Treatment

A multi-month course of antibiotics is a standard prescription in modern medicine, allowing for successful treatment of diseases that were once considered deadly. For example, in cases of actinomycosis (tissue and organ damage caused by the Actinomyces fungus), a 6-12 month course of amoxicillin is prescribed.

However, even a short-term use of antibiotics carries a high risk of side effects. This risk increases significantly with prolonged antibiotic treatment, so patients are advised to follow a few simple rules, which will be the topic of this article.

Strictly Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions

The most obvious and at the same time, the most ignored rule, is not following the doctor’s instructions, which increases the risk of side effects and can even result in the failure of the entire therapy course.

It is important to not only adhere to the prescribed medication schedule but also take them in full, without trying to exclude certain drugs because of their “secondary” or “unnecessary” nature. For example, many doctors suggest that taking vitamin D₃ at a dosage of 2000 IU helps reduce the risk of infection transitioning to an acute stage.

Plan Your Budget

During a prolonged therapy course, it is better to calculate in advance the amount of money that will be spent on antibiotics and accompanying medications since a break in treatment will practically reset all progress made.

Using generics, which are complete analogs of the original drugs but sold without the markup for the brand or import, can help reduce future expenses. Online pharmacies in Canada offer the widest selection of inexpensive generics, even without a prescription. For example, the aforementioned amoxicillin from a Canadian pharmacy can be offered at a price that is at least 4-5 times cheaper than US pharmacy chains

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Drink Lots of Water

Antibacterial drugs cause massive death of pathogens, which becomes the cause of intoxication of the patient’s body. To remove the products of bacterial decay, a sufficient amount of liquid, i.e. water, is required.

Important: it is necessary to drink regular room temperature water. Other types of fluids (soups, milk, tea, coffee, cocoa, etc.) do not behave in the human body as free fluid, but are perceived by the body as food.

Adhere to the Dosing Interval

Medical practice has shown that the maximum effect of antibiotics is achieved only if they are taken at the same time, for example, at 8:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. Of course, adhering to the dosing intervals can be inconvenient, but everyone should strive to do so as much as possible.

Exclude Grapefruit from your Diet

Grapefruit juice reduces the effectiveness of a large number of medicinal products, including antibiotics, and therefore it is better to refrain from this delicacy during treatment.

Abstaining from alcohol

Antibiotics cannot be taken together with alcoholic beverages – there are no exceptions to this rule.

Different groups of antibacterial drugs react differently to the combination with alcoholic beverages, but if the patient is determined to fully recover, it is better to complete the course of treatment first, and only then allow oneself to “relax”.

When to Call Your Doctor

It’s important to recognize the signs of complications or infection recurrence during prolonged antibiotic treatment and to call your doctor if any concerns arise. Signs of complications can include severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, or fever, while signs of infection recurrence may include worsening symptoms or the development of new symptoms. 

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If a new infection develops, your doctor may need to prescribe a different type of antibiotic or adjust your treatment plan. It’s important to avoid stopping antibiotics prematurely or using leftover antibiotics, as this can contribute to antibiotic resistance and make infections more difficult to treat in the future. By closely monitoring your symptoms and seeking medical attention when needed, you can ensure that you receive the appropriate treatment and support during prolonged antibiotic therapy.

Try Alternative Therapies

While antibiotics are an important tool in treating bacterial infections, overuse and misuse of antibiotics can contribute to antibiotic resistance and make infections more difficult to treat. This is why it’s important to practice antibiotic stewardship, which involves using antibiotics only when necessary and following proper dosing and duration guidelines. 

Your doctor can help determine whether antibiotics are needed for your particular infection and prescribe the appropriate type and dosage. It’s also important to take antibiotics only for the prescribed duration and not to save leftover antibiotics for future use. 

By following antibiotic stewardship principles, you can help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for future generations and reduce the risk of antibiotic-resistant infections.

By taking a comprehensive approach to your health and wellness, you can support your body’s ability to heal and recover from infections, while also reducing the risk of antibiotic resistance.