Taking antibiotics three times a day is a common prescription for patients with bacterial infections. Antibiotics are medications that help fight infections caused by bacteria, and they are only useful for bacterial infections, not viral infections like the common cold or flu. Antibiotics not only speed up the healing process but also prevent the spread of infection to other parts of the body. Here is a guide on how to take antibiotics three times a day.
What Are the Types of Antibiotics?
There are many different types of antibiotics available that you may need to take three times a day, depending on the severity of your infection and the prescribed dose. These antibiotics may come in the form of tablets, capsules, liquids, injections, and creams.
Some of the common types of antibiotics that require thrice-daily doses include:
Penicillins: These are considered the most common class of antibiotics. They can be taken as pills, liquids, injections, or skin creams. These antibiotics are used to treat a variety of infections, including dental infections, respiratory infections (not pneumonia), and ear infections.
Cephalosporins: These are used to treat infections like cellulitis, meningitis, and pneumonia. They can also treat infections caused by the bacterium called E. coli. These antibiotics come in the form of injections, tablets, or capsules.
Macrolides: These antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections like pneumonia, bronchitis, pertussis, and sinusitis. They can also treat infections in the skin, eye, ear, and throat. Macrolides are available in tablets, capsules, and liquid forms.
Tetracyclines: These antibiotics are used to treat respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, and acne. They come in the form of tablets and capsules.
Fluoroquinolones: These antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections like urinary tract infections, prostatitis, and respiratory tract infections. They can come in the form of pills, injections, or intravenous infusions.
How to Take Antibiotics Three Times a Day
Many factors can influence how you take antibiotics in a day. However, if a doctor has prescribed an antibiotic that is to be taken three times a day, it means you should take it at equally spaced intervals throughout the day. Spreading out three doses of the medication over a 24-hour period ensures that the level of antibiotic in your body remains as consistent as possible, providing the most effective treatment.
Here are a few tips on how to take antibiotics three times a day:
1. Set Alarms
It can be challenging to remember to take medication three times a day, especially if your schedule is hectic. Setting alarms on your phone or clock can help remind you when to take your medication. Make sure to schedule the alarms at the intervals recommended by your doctor.
2. Follow the Instructions Carefully
Make sure to read the instructions that come with your medication carefully and follow them precisely. They will usually contain directions on how to take the medication, the right dosage, and how often you should take it.
3. Space out the Doses
You should try to space out the antibiotics evenly through the day. For example, if you have to take the medication at 8 am, 2 pm, and 8 pm, try to make those times consistent each day, so it’s easier to remember.
4. Take with Food or Water
Certain antibiotics need to be taken with food or water to avoid stomach upset. Check with your doctor or pharmacist on whether you should take it with or without food or water.
5. Finish the Course
You must complete the prescribed course of antibiotics, even if you start feeling better. A typical course of antibiotics last for 7-14 days. Stopping too early can result in drug resistance and a higher risk of the infection coming back. Even if you feel better, keep taking the antibiotic until the end of the course.
6. Do not Miss a Dose
Skipping a dose can reduce the effectiveness of the treatment and can lead to drug resistance. If you happen to miss a dose, take it as soon as possible, and then return to your regular dosing schedule. If you remember too late, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule.
7. Avoid Alcohol
Most antibiotics interact negatively with alcohol, leading to side effects like nausea, vomiting, flushing, and a high heart rate. Avoid alcohol while taking antibiotics.
Taking antibiotics three times a day is a common prescription that can help you to heal from bacterial infections. It requires discipline and a strict adherence to the prescribed schedule. Always consult with your health care provider about the right type of medication, the dosage, and how often to take it to ensure you receive the best possible treatment. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully, space the doses out equally, and finish the full course of antibiotics, even if you start feeling better.