How soon can I repeat antibiotic course?

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    This is a good question, since the accepted answer is of ignored by some clinicians. Also, as with just about everything in medicine there is rarely only one right answer.

    Due to the concern of potentially developing microbial resistance it is important to keep an adequate blood level of an antibiotic until the bacteria causing the infection are dead. In any given population of bacteria some may have mutated to harbor some level of resistance to any given antibiotic. So, if the course of antibiotics is stopped to soon these remaining organisms may flourish and possess resistance characteristics. Thus, if the same antibiotic is reintroduced a week later it may be ineffective.

    This is why is recommended to avoid the same antibiotic class for 3 months if possible. For example, if you have pneumonia and take x antibiotic for 5 days and stop followed by relapse of the pneumonia a week later an antibiotic of a different class should be started and not the same one previously used. Sometimes this may not be possible if the bacterium is only sensitive to drugs within a certain class.

    Repeated antibiotic courses with an antibiotic within the same class over a short period of time increases the chances that a resistant bacterial population will develop.

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    Hi

    Antibiotics are to be taken only by prescription of a qualified doctor. The risks of repeated antibiotics course include disturbance in your bowel’s “good” bacteria, which can harm your body too and creation of antibiotic resistant bacteria which can cause severe problems in the community.

    The answer to your question depends on what was the reason for the previous antibiotic course, what is the source of present infection and how long is the gap.

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    When your doc prescribes it, don’t “just” take antibiotics because you think you need it. It doesn’t work against viral infections.

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    Rule #1: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. EVERYBODY knows this rule.

    Rule #2: If it ain’t working, don’t continue it (do something different. Do anything different). You’d be amazed how many people and how many organizations never learned this rule.

    Repeating an antibiotic course without a good, carefully thought out reason, is a violation of rule #2.

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    Why do you want to repeat it?

    Antibiotics are mostly prescription based medicine and your doctor should decide whether to repeat it or not.

    Please understand the benefits as well as the side effects of antibiotics from your doctor or pharmacist including its interactions with other drug or food.

    Please never self prescribe and do get counselled everytime you are prescribed with medicines.

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    If required to by your doctor, you can repeat an antibiotic course immediately. For some infections, a double course of antibiotics may be required. However, taking another course of antibiotics is not a good idea unless you absolutely require it. You can on the one hand destroy your good gut bacteria, making you susceptible to infections by pathogens, and on the other hand you will be contributing to the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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    They say that once you start antibiotic course, you have to finish the entire course. Whether it is true or not, surprises me.

    Frequency of repetition of the same antibiotics will produce immunity to the antibiotic and the antibiotics will not work.

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    If you are having repeat episodes of an infection, get a culture to determine the right treatment you may be taking an ineffective drug

    Antibiotics are worst things to take. Its better to take probiotic and develop good immune system. Antibiotic resistance has become common issue in india as everyone thinks i am the doctor. Stop taking antibiotics for small things. Infection has to go away in 2–3 days its the cycle. Flourish it with good bacteria

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    Not likely. The acquisition of antibiotic resistance during the course of treatment is fairly rare, with the exceptions of TB and some Gram-negative non-fermenters such as Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter. Augmentin (amoxy/clav) would not be prescribed for these types of infections.

    Most resistance emerges by acquisition of resistance genes from other (usually non-pathogenic) organisms. This is where the danger lies. Although the bugs causing your current infection are unlikely to become resistant, you are enriching already-resistant organisms elsewhere in your body, and these might emerge later to cause an antibiotic-resistant infection. The risk of MRSA infections, for instance, is 2–3X higher in those who have been treated with antibiotics in the last 12 months[1] .

    Since your infection has persisted through the first course of antibiotics, your doctor really should have done a culture workup. This would determine if it is viral or bacterial, and if it is bacterial, whether it is actually susceptible to the antibiotics being prescribed. If your doctor did not do this, I would have to say that they are being somewhat negligent with your health and you should consider finding a more conscientious doctor.

    Footnotes

    Divide how many doses of the medication you need to take a day into 24 hours. 2 a day, every 12 hours. 3 a day, every 8 hours and so on. If you can’t keep on a close schedule then a little wobble room of an hour or two is ok. Just remember to finish your entire quantity of antibiotics as you should. Next time you need to fill a prescription it’s a good thing to have the pharmacist or tech go over the directions with you if you have a question.

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