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Antibiotics (cont.)

Taking Your Medicine

It is important to learn how to take antibiotics correctly. Read the label to see how many pills to take and how often to take your medicine. Also, ask your pharmacist if there is anything you should know about the medication.

An important question to ask is how the medication should be taken. Some medications need to be taken with something in your stomach such as a glass of milk or a few crackers, and others only with water. Taking your antibiotics incorrectly may affect their absorption, reducing or eliminating their effectiveness.

It is also important to store your medication correctly. Many children's antibiotics need to be refrigerated (amoxicillin), while others are best left at room temperature (Biaxin).

Take your entire course of antibiotics. Even though you may feel better before your medicine is entirely gone, follow through and take the entire course. This is important for your healing. If an antibiotic is stopped in midcourse, the bacteria may be partially treated and not completely killed, causing the bacteria to be resistant to the antibiotic. This can cause a serious problem if those now-resistant bacteria grow enough to cause a reinfection.

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Antibiotics - Drug Interactions

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Note: A one-page reference table with key therapy recommendations taken from this article can be downloaded in Adobe Acrobat format by clicking the Antibiotics Guidelines Summary.

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