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Can multiple doses of antibiotics cure an infection?

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Posted on Thu, 2 Aug 2018
Question: Can it take multiple doses of the same antibiotic to kill an infection? How many doses of an antibiotic should be taken to kill a single infection? When should you try an alternative antibiotic if the infection persists?
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (26 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
if there is some improvement then the course can be repeated

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Antibiotics have different dosing schedules. This means that the effective course of one antibiotic differs from another.

Eg azithromycin is commonly used for 3 to 5 days but many other antibiotics require 7 days or more.

Repeated courses of an antibiotic can be used if an infection does not respond to the first course but if possible, it would be best to take a swab or some sort of sample of the infected area if possible, if there is no response to the first antibiotic course.

The sample can be sent to the lab to determine the exact bacteria causing the infection and also to find which antibiotics work and which ones do not.

In some cases, when an antibiotic does not work, it means that the person/infection is resistant to the medication/antibiotic and a different antibiotic should be used

So if you have a persisting infection with no improvement at all, it may be best to consider an alternative.
If there is slight improvement then the course of the original antibiotic can be extended/repeated

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions

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Can multiple doses of antibiotics cure an infection?

Brief Answer: if there is some improvement then the course can be repeated Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic Antibiotics have different dosing schedules. This means that the effective course of one antibiotic differs from another. Eg azithromycin is commonly used for 3 to 5 days but many other antibiotics require 7 days or more. Repeated courses of an antibiotic can be used if an infection does not respond to the first course but if possible, it would be best to take a swab or some sort of sample of the infected area if possible, if there is no response to the first antibiotic course. The sample can be sent to the lab to determine the exact bacteria causing the infection and also to find which antibiotics work and which ones do not. In some cases, when an antibiotic does not work, it means that the person/infection is resistant to the medication/antibiotic and a different antibiotic should be used So if you have a persisting infection with no improvement at all, it may be best to consider an alternative. If there is slight improvement then the course of the original antibiotic can be extended/repeated I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions