Antibiotics are used at specific doses for specific illnesses; it’s important to have as much information as possible on medications that you plan to store, so consider purchasing a hard copy of the latest Physician’s Desk Reference. This book comes out yearly and has lots of information that just about every medicine manufactured today. Online sources such as drugs.com are also useful, but consider a hard copy for your library. You never know when we might not have a functioning internet.
- Overuse can foster the spread of resistant bacteria, as you’ll remember from the salmonella outbreak in turkeys recently that made so many people ill.
- Potential allergic reactions may occur that could lead to anaphylactic shock (see the section on this topic earlier in this book).
- Making a diagnosis may be more difficult if you give antibiotics before you’re sure what medical problem you’re actually dealing with. The antibiotics might temporarily “mask” a symptom, which could cost you valuable time in determining the correct treatment.
You can see that judicious use of antibiotics, under your close supervision, is necessary to fully utilize their benefits. Discourage your family members from using these drugs without first consulting you.
There are various others that you can choose such as Azithromycin, but these selections will give you the opportunity to treat many illnesses and have enough variety so that even those with Penicillin allergies with have options. Cephalexin, although not in the same drug family, has been quoted as having a 10% cross-reactivity rate with Penicillin. Let’s discuss how to approach the use of antibiotics by using an example.
Once you have identified Amoxicillin as your treatment of choice to treat your patient’s ear infection, you will want to determine the dosage. As Otitis Media often occurs in children, you might have to break a tablet in half or open the capsule to separate out a portion that would be appropriate. For Amoxicillin, you would give 20-50mg per kilogram of body weight (20-30mg/kg for infants less than four months old). This would be useful if you have to give the drug to a toddler less than 30 pounds. A common child’s dosage would be 250mg and a common maximum dosage for adults would be 500 mg. Luckily, these dosages (even in veterinary equivalents) are exactly how the commercially-made medications come in the bottle. Take this orally 3 times a day for 10 to 14 days (twice a day for infants).