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Taking Antibiotics Properly

Antibiotic pills

Print the full article here!

What are antibiotics?

Antibiotics are a type of medicine.

  • Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria.
  • Bacteria is a type of germ.

Antibiotics cannot treat infections caused by viruses.

  • Viruses are another type of germ.

If bacteria germs are in your body they can cause:

  • Ear infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Strep throat infections
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Many wound and skin infections

If virus germs are in your body they can cause:

  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Most coughs and bronchitis
  • Sore throats (that are not Strep Throat)

Antibiotics are not for every illness.

Your doctor will tell you if antibiotics are right for your infection.

If you take antibiotics for the wrong type of sickness, they may hurt you more than help you.

If you are sick, go to see your doctor.

When you visit the doctor, remind him or her about the medications you are already taking.

  • Tell the doctor about all of your medicine, including vitamins and over-the-counter medicine.
  • The doctor will make sure any new prescription can be taken safely with the other medicines you take.

How should I take my antibiotics?

Medications can be taken in many different ways.

  • Antibiotics can come as pills or liquid.
  • Some antibiotics need to be taken with food, others can only be taken between meals.
  • Be sure to follow the directions on the label!

How should I take my antibiotics?

Make sure you know how many times a day you need to take your medicine.

  • Take your medicine at the right time.
  • Take the right number of pills or the right amount of liquid.

Make sure you understand how to take your medicine.

Read the label carefully.

If you don’t understand, ask your support staff or doctor.

Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions!

Remember to follow the instructions carefully!

You need to take all the medicine in your prescription, even if you don’t feel sick anymore.

If you do not finish your prescription, you may get sick again.

When taking medicine like antibiotics, you may get:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Vaginal yeast infections, if you are a woman
  • Tell someone right away if you have these symptoms!

Tell someone right away if you:

  • Throw up
  • Have a hard time breathing
  • Have a rash
  • Have swollen lips, face, or tongue
  • These things could mean you are allergic to your medicine.
    • If you are allergic, your doctor will give you another kind of medicine to help you get better.

You can learn more on the DDS Safety Net

Where can I learn more about antibiotics?

PDF icon SP_Antibiotics_v2.pdf547.75 KB
Last updated on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 14:11