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    Antibiotic     Guidelines
 

General Guidelines for Antibiotics

All antibiotics are not alike. They do their job in different ways.

Trying to remember what guidelines apply to which antibiotic can be confusing. There are, however, general guidelines which can be observed and will take the guesswork out of what to do.
Remember, these are “General”.

1) Antibiotics are NOT good for you. Antibiotics are for killing a living organism--as in a disease. If you do not have a disease, then do not take them.

2) Antibiotics will not kill a virus. Antibiotics do not help flu or colds because flu and colds are caused by a virus. Do not take them for colds or flu.

3) If you have an allergic reaction, quit taking the antibiotic and, if possible, change antibiotics. Allergic reactions may include one or more of the following: rash, intense itching, hives, vomiting, swelling and other unusual symptoms.

4) More is not better. Read the label. If the antibiotic is supposed to be taken 3 times a day then take it 3 times a day. If it says to take 4 times a day then that is what you should do.

5) Antibiotics can increase the effect of anticoagulants. Some antibiotics will make the effects of anticoagulants--such as Coumadin—more intense.

6) Unless specifically directed, two different antibiotics should not be taken together. For instance, the Penicillins and Tetracyclines will cancel each other out.

7) Do not take antibiotics with antacids, certain supplements, laxatives or food.

Certain antibiotics will combine with metals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and aluminum and render the antibiotic useless or less effective. Some supplements contain calcium, magnesium or iron.

Laxatives may contain magnesium. Food often has calcium such as from animals. Antibiotics should be taken either an hour before a meal or two hours after.

 

8) Antibiotics interfere with birth control pills. Some antibiotics can render birth control pills less effective. If someone starts taking antibiotics while counting on birth control pills then they can become pregnant.

9) Antibiotics make humans susceptible to sunburn.

10) Antibiotics will give you diarrhea.

General Guideline “dose” for antibiotics used for preventing symptoms from a biological attack (for prophylaxis). The number of days to take the antibiotic will depend on the agent used—example: Anthrax 60 to 100 days.

Doxycycline (Taken orally)
Adult (8 years and older or weigh more than 100 pounds--45kg): 100mg by mouth every 12 hours. Children (Children under 8 years or less than 100 pounds—45kg) 2.2mg per kg of weight, taken by mouth every 12 hours (1kg equals 2.2 pounds)

Ciprofloxacin (Taken orally)

Adult (8 years and older or weigh more than 100 pounds--45kg): 500mg by mouth every 12 hours.

Children (Children under 8 years or less than 100 pounds—45kg) 10-15 mg/kg taken by mouth every 12 hours, not to exceed the total of 1,000mg per day

Amoxicillin Anthrax exposure: Alternative for allergies to Doxycycline and Ciprofloxacin

Adult (8 years and older or weigh more than 100 pounds--45kg): 500mg by mouth every 8 hours.

Children (Children under 8 years or less than 100 pounds—45kg) 80 mg/kg/day divided every 8 hr, not to exceed 500 mg/dose taken by mouth every 8 hours

Note: Amoxicillin is not a drug-of-choice for most biological weapons.

Copyright 2005 Medical Corps
 



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