I hate being prescribed antibiotics- they always make me feel worse than my illness. There are ways though that you can take antibiotics that make you feel better sooner and keep your body feeling normal as much as possible.
If they say take them “with or without food”, take them with food. This way, you’re less likely to feel nauseous on them, and if the antibiotics make you throw up or get diarrhea anyway, at least you have a food substance coming out along with your body reaction to antibiotics.
Drink lots and lots of water. Most antibiotics give you dry mouth like none other, and dry your skin out fast. Staying hydrated and moisturized helps battle this annoying side effect and help you feel more comfortable while you’re taking antibiotics.
Ladies, yeast infections are most caused by antibiotics, since antibiotics flush all the bacteria out of our bodies, including the “good” bacteria that keeps our lady parts in check. Battle this irritating side effect by taking Vitamin C while on antibiotics (I take 1500 mg daily). Just be sure to take your Vitamin C 8 hours before taking your antibiotic or 4 hours after wards, as your vitamin may decrease the effects of your antibiotic otherwise. Also, drink plenty of cranberry juice, water, and lemon juice (I mix lemon juice with cranberry juice) to help flush out bacteria and keep yeast infections at bay. Continue taking these measures against yeast infections a week after you stop antibiotics, as your antibiotic takes about a week (sometimes more) to completely leave your system.
Also ladies- antibiotics can also decrease the effectiveness of your birth control (sometimes depleting your birth control by up to 80%), so use backup birth control while on antibiotics and up to a week after (again, antibiotics tend to stay in the system for a week after ending use), to make sure that you are not opening yourself up to pregnancy.
Quit smoking while on antibiotics if you can. Particularly if you are on antibiotics for a lung or bronchial infection, as your smoking will help the illness take longer to heal, and make the antibiotics have to work harder to do their job. Limit caffeine intake as well, as some antibiotics can raise the heart rate and leave you feeling anxious anyhow. You don’t need to make your antibiotic’s side effects even worse.
If you can, take your antibiotic at night. This way, if it makes you sick like none other, you don’t have the whole day to worry about getting through. When I’m on antibiotics (right now, I’m on Avelox, which is a beast), I take them at 7 PM, so they have about 2 hours to make me puke and feel like I’m going to pass out. It helps when your bedtime is right around the corner when your antibiotics make you feel like you’re having a bad trip. Also, try to take them the same time every day, and if you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can, unless it’s almost time for your next dose. In that case, just take your normal dose and DO NOT take 2 pills. Just take the one antibiotic you missed at your next scheduled time. This means you will be on antibiotics one day more.
Just because you’re feeling better, don’t stop taking your antibiotics doses. The Avelox I’m on right now makes my whole body have a heartbeat and like my eyes are going to pop out of my head, but my bronchitis feels so much better. I’m tempted to quit taking Avelox since it makes me feel like I’m going to have a heart attack, but I’ve got to finish the antibiotics or else I’ll never get rid of this damned cough (which I’ve had for 2 months now- this is the second round of antibiotics I’ve been on). If your side effects are so bad you think you are going to die, talk to your doctor before you outright quit taking them. I have heard of a lot of people who had such a negative response to Avelox and its side effects they quit taking it and switched to something else. Let your doctor make that decision for you- you were given a number of doses for a reason. You need to finish your prescription to truly knock out your illness.
Don’t keep the side effects you feel from your doctor; likewise, don’t automatically think the side effects listed on the antibiotic will happen to you. Avelox tends to tear tendons in people’s legs, and I almost didn’t take it. It also causes tingling, itching, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, paranoia, and other neurological side effects- possibly. The antibiotic has to list all the possible side effects, but most of them are rare, or mild, if they occur. If the listed side effects concern you, talk to your doctor about them prior to taking them, and let them ease your mind.
Do not take antibiotics that are not prescribed to you! Too often, people don’t finish doses of their antibiotics, and then pass them along to a friend or family member who is also ill. If the antibiotics were not prescribed to you, they weren’t meant for you. I once took a Hydrocodone for my wisdom teeth that my brother gave me from when he had strep throat, and the pill made me pass out at work. My boss had to drive me home. No bueno. Don’t ever take advantage of someone else’s unused prescription of anything.
Above all, have faith that your antibiotic will work. I feel like a slug, my heart is beating so hard I can feel it in my fingertips and toes, I can hardly swallow for the dry mouth, and my head hurts like the world’s ultimate hangover. I’d rather just be coughing up a lung, but in order to get better, I have to continue taking my demon antibiotics and trust that they will make me better. 2 more days to go…
personal experience and use
my doctor who prescribed me both Azithromycin and Avelox- 5 day doses of each