Over the counter antibiotics

Antibiotics are among the most significant and powerful medications available. They help control infections of a solely bacterial etiology either eradicating the bacteria or reducing their reproduction. Typically, your body will be able to fight the weakened bacteria from that point forward thanks to its natural defense mechanisms. It is recommended to take antibiotics according to medical instructions provided. However, getting antibiotics over the counter is also possible and harmless when taken in particular situations and in accordance with certain rules. This guide is intended to provide advice as to those conditions and help you navigate within the field of OTC antibiotics more efficiently.

OTC antibiotics

Above all, over the counter antibiotics represent a convenient way of treating different bacterial infections. The treatment yields the desired results and does not pose any health threats that are greater than the medications’ side effects of the use of their prescribed equivalents. They can be purchased usually in the form of oral tablets or topical preparations, such as gels. Other forms suitable for more severe infections, including intravenous shots, require a prescription. As antibiotics are medications of a strong effect that essentially affect the whole body through their impact on the intestinal environment, they should be sought for when you already have a verified diagnosis and the necessary recommendations from your physician, or in the case when the treatment that you are currently using requires an extension. Over the counter antibiotics are available at brick-and-mortar drugstores in some countries. Whenever possible, ask your doctor about the best place to purchase generic antibiotics. Getting antibiotics online is another option and an increasingly popular method of shopping for medications in general. In addition to the convenience that online purchasing offers, it may be an effective way of obtaining the needed drugs for individuals residing in remote areas or facing disabilities, for example. Another advantage of buying antibiotics over the counter from online retailers is their significantly reduced price in comparison with corresponding prescribed drugs. Apart from the reduced price, generic antibiotics offered online can be often purchased in larger amounts, which allows for further savings and makes it possible to use them in the case of the treatment of recurrent infections. However, you must remember to shop at verified retailers to assure the medications’ quality and safety. In order to familiarize you a bit more with the topic of OTC antibiotics and their application, the overview of the most common of them is provided below.

Generic Augmentin

Generic Augmentin, offered in the form of both traditional and chewable pills as well as powder for oral suspension, and comprising amoxicillin and clavulanate, is intended for the treatment of infections associated mainly with the lower respiratory system, ears, sinuses, skin, as well as the urinary system. Side effects of the drug that are likely to occur at the beginning of the therapy commonly include vomiting and diarrhea. In order to minimize stomach pain during the treatment, it is recommended to take the medication with some food. The medication is typically taken every twelve hours (500 mg tablet) or eight hours (250 mg tablet). With respect to serious infections, Augmentin 875 and 500 should be taken as the single dose. Augmentin 875 125 version in the form of suspension is recommended for individuals having trouble swallowing as an equivalent of the 500 tablet and the 200 version – as the Augmentin 875 mg tablet.

Generic Flagyl

Flagyl over the counter is recommended in the case of infections caused by anaerobic bacteria as well as some parasites. The bacteria are mostly responsible for abdominal, liver, and pelvic abscesses. The parasites include Giardia lamblia and ameba causing gastrointestinal symptoms as well as trichomonas that is usually behind vaginal infections. Similarly to other antibiotics, generic Flagyl may cause colon inflammation due to disruption of the advantaged bacterial environment. The antibiotic can be, furthermore, combined with other preparations when treating stomach ulcers. The medication is usually taken orally. Flagyl ER, the extended-release tablet, should be taken on an empty stomach. In addition, the drug in the form of a topical gel is intended for the treatment of rosacea. A vaginal gel is also available and used in the case of genital infections. The antibiotic may cause some minor adverse effects such as loss of appetite, nausea, a metallic taste in the mouth, or headaches. The dosage of generic Flagyl varies considerably according to the condition being treated as well as the type of the drug. Oral single dose of metronidazole over the counter, for instance, may range from 250 to 1500 mg in the case of bacterial infection and metronidazole 500mg to 750 mg is often used when parasitic infection is present, for the period of up to two weeks. Nevertheless, Flagyl 500 mg is the most common dose.

Generic Amoxil - Amoxicillin

Generic Amoxil (amoxicillin) is a penicillin group type medication, suitable in the treatment of many different types of infections, including those affecting tonsils, throat, the bronchi, or lungs as well as urinary tract and some sexually transmitted diseases (such as gonorrhea). As with generic Flagyl, amoxicillin over the counter in some cases is combined with other medications when treating stomach ulcers as well as taken before surgical procedures by individuals experiencing heart issues in order to protect from possible infection affecting the heart. The use of the medication may trigger some negative organism responses, such as vomiting and diarrhea. The drug is offered in the form of chewable tablets, capsules, as well as oral suspension. The typical single dose of over the counter amoxicillin for adults ranges from amoxicillin 500mg to 875mg taken every 8 to 12 hours. The drug can be used in infants, however, the maximum dose must not exceed 30 mg per kilogram of body weight, administered every eight hours. The therapy using the medication should be maintained for up to three days after the infection symptoms disappearance, besides gonorrhea.

Generic Cipro - Ciprofloxacin

Generic Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is an antibiotic advisable above all for patients with bone and joint, skin, or airway infections. It is, moreover, used in the therapy of urinary issues or infectious diarrhea. Some patients suffering from anthrax can also use the drug. Cipro antibiotics cause negative side effects that may include rash, headache, nausea, or abdominal pain. In adults, most infections are treated with the dose of Cipro 250mg, Cipro 500mg, or Cipro 750mg (administered twice a day) or starting from ciprofloxacin 500mg in the case of extended release tablets (taken once a day). What needs to be considered by some male patients, is the fact that generic Cipro may contribute to the elevated blood concentration of sildenafil, a substance used in the treatment of erectile dysfunctions. Therefore, combining the antibiotic with sildenafil is not advised.

Generic Keflex - Cephalexin

Generic Keflex (cephalexin) is mostly used in infections of upper respiratory and urinary tract, skin problems, as well as ear issues. Keflex antibiotic causes some adverse effects including, among others, nausea, diarrhea, vertigo, skin rash, and fever. The typical daily dose for adults comprises from 1 to 4 g (Keflex 250mg taken every six hours or Keflex 500mg every 12 hours), administered in separate doses. More severe infection may require the double dose taken once in every twelve hours. Generic Keflex is also suitable for treating infections in children. However, in such cases, cephalexin 500mg is too strong. From 25 to 100 mg of the antibiotic should be administered per kilogram of body weight in a single dose for children, depending on the infection severity, four or two times per day. You should avoid the drug if you are allergic to penicillin or have a history of kidney or intestinal disorders. Generic Keflex is considered safe for unborn babies and infants when breastfed.

Generic Bactrim - Trimethoprim and Sulfamethoxazole

Generic Bactrim (Bactrim DS) is essentially a mixture of two different antibiotics: trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole. The pair of antibiotics, much more effective than either of the antibiotics used alone, limits bacterial capacity to use folic acid in the process of protein production and the bacteria growth. Generic Bactrim is effective in treating numerous infections, including those of the urinary and respiratory tract. It is also used in the prevention of encephalitis as a consequence of toxoplasmosis in individuals suffering from AIDS. Symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, a general feeling of tiredness, nausea, diarrhea, or rash may occur when taking the antibiotic. In respiratory issues, two tablets of a single strength should be taken once every twelve hours for the period of two weeks. In urinary problems, in turn, the therapy looks alike, the only difference being a slightly shorter administration period of the drug. In addition, the antibiotic dosage can be altered in patients with kidney disease, namely, daily doses should be reduced.

Generic Levaquin - Levofloxacin

Generic Levaquin (levofloxacin) represents a very universal antibiotic that is used when treating many different infections of bacterial etiology. It can be taken in the case of skin infections as well as bone and joint conditions, but also respiratory tract issues, urinary problems, and obstetric infections. Infectious diarrhea and an inhalational contact with anthrax are another examples of the variety of the drug applications. Headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation constitute most often reported adverse effects of generic Levaquin. What is more, the class of antibiotics that the medicine represents, fluoroquinolones, may in some cases lead to tendon and muscular inflammations. The medicine, according to the condition being treated, should be administered in a single dose of Levaquin 250 mg, Levaquin 500 mg, and Levaquin 750 mg over the period of up to two weeks. Anthrax, however, is the exception: its treatment is based on levofloxacin 500 mg daily doses taken every day for the period of sixty days. When taking antacids and certain mineral supplements (containing iron and zinc, among others) at the time of the therapy with this antibiotic, they need to be taken either two hours before or after taking generic Levaquin due to their binding properties that limit the antibiotic absorption into your body.

Generic Zithromax

Generic Zithromax (azithromycin), also known as Z-Pak antibiotic, is used in the treatment of various infections: middle ear, tonsils, throat, lungs, sinuses, skin, and others. It can also effectively cure some sexually transmitted diseases, including nongonococcal urethritis or cervicitis. Universal side effects of the drug comprise those related to gastrointestinal ailments (abdominal cramps or loose stools, for example) as well as other negative impacts (irritation, tinnitus, or vaginal infections). It is appropriate to take the medication either with or without food, nevertheless, some food lessens the stomach upset when taking the medicine. Typically, adults should take the 500 to 2000 mg dose of azithromycin over the counter per day. The treatment with the drug is relatively quick (lasts up to five days) in most minor infections. The drug does not harm unborn children, however, its impact on infants has not yet been entirely identified. Therefore, the medicine should not be given to babies under six months of age through breast milk.

Generic Avelox – Moxifloxacin

Generic Avelox (moxifloxacin) is effective in the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia (acquired outside medical settings), uncomplicated infections of the skin, bacterial sinusitis, and abdominal abscess. Side effects may occur when using the drug, causing mostly dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and the characteristic symptom of photosensitivity. Allergic reaction to the drug may rarely occur and can be manifested by hives and anaphylactic response. The drug use should be consulted with a doctor if you suffer from conditions of the central nervous system because generic Avelox may worsen the experienced symptoms, and even cause seizures. Moreover, the drug effectiveness, as well as the safety of use has not yet been fully evaluated, therefore the preparation should not be used in children and youth. Fluoroquinolones, to which the medicine belongs, may cause inflammation of tendons and muscle weakness. This risk remains particularly intensified in individuals older than sixty years of age as well as those using corticosteroids. The drug dosage is dependent on the medical problem concerned, however, the usual daily dose of moxifloxacin 400 mg is recommended and it has to be taken typically from several days to approximately two weeks in uncomplicated conditions.

Generic Cleocin – Clindamycin

Generic Cleocin (clindamycin) is usually taken in the case of infections of a serious course. Such infections may affect respiratory and female reproductive tract as well as skin. The medication is not similar to penicillin, therefore, generic Cleocin is recommended for patients allergic to penicillin. The drug causes some minor adverse effects, such as stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, itching, and rash. The use of the medication can cause overgrowth of bacteria responsible for colon inflammation. The dosage varies depending on the condition being treated, however, it is generally recommended to take clindamycin 150mg, clindamycin 300mg, or clindamycin 450mg in a single dose. The dose of 1,8 grams per day should not be exceeded and the drug should be taken in six to eight hour intervals. In children, on the other hand, the daily dose should not exceed 20 mg per kilogram of body weight.

Generic Xifaxan – Rifaximin

Generic Xifaxan (rifaximin) constitutes an antibiotic that is recommended in the case of traveler’s diarrhea, a disorder of digestive tract that occurs when visiting a place with different food preparation and sanitary practices. The medication also helps when treating hepatic encephalopathy, a brain disorder due to severe liver issues. The drug decreases the number of bacteria that are responsible for the production of ammonia in the organism, thus, preventing the condition. Negative side effects of this medication frequently resemble the symptoms associated with traveler's diarrhea and include, among others, fever, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation on the one hand, or a strong need for defecation on the other. As in the case of antibiotic therapy, the drug may impact the bacterial microflora of the colon, which, in turn, may lead to colon inflammation. In that case, you should seek medical help immediately. It is recommended to use Xifaxan 200 mg three times per day for the period of three days in the treatment of traveler’s diarrhea and Xifaxan 550 mg two times per day in hepatic encephalopathy.

Generic Vibramycin - Doxycycline

Generic Vibramycin (doxycycline), represents a drug that is usually taken when treating various bacterial and protozoan infections. The medicine is effective in the treatment of Lyme disease, pneumonia and acne. Syphilis, cholera, and a range of infections caused by Chlamydia are likewise susceptible to the therapy based on generic Vibramycin. The drug can be used, moreover, for malaria prevention. Commonly occurring adverse effects comprise, among others, a red rash, nausea, and diarrhea. The medicine may also elevate the risk of getting a sunburn as it makes the skin more susceptible to damages associated with the sun exposure. In general, combining the drug with certain foods and medications does not pose great concerns, however, its effectiveness can be reduced when used together with dairy products, some supplements (calcium and iron, for example), or laxatives. Generic Vibramycin should be avoided by women during pregnancy and by children under eight years old because of its disrupting properties especially when considering tooth as well as bone development.

Without denying the antibiotics’ role in the evolution of modern treatment methods, there are a few considerations that should be taken into account when using them. Similarly to other medications, antibiotics may cause minor or more severe side effects, from headaches and gastrointestinal issues to negative health impacts in infants and children. When taken inappropriately and in excess, the use of antibiotics may lead to antimicrobial resistance that presents a serious danger to human health as the lack of susceptibility to antibiotics in bacteria may result in the occurrence of much more acute infection symptoms. Nevertheless, prescribed as well as over the counter antibiotics are reliable when taken following your doctor’s instructions as to the dosage and the treatment duration. When choosing OTC antibiotics over the prescribed ones, carefully consider the advantages and limitations of such a method. Most importantly, however, try to resort to OTC antibiotics only if the presence of a bacterial infection has been confirmed as using an antibiotic when a virus is responsible for your poor health, for example, may cause more damage than benefits.

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