Research suggests that 80% of people occasionally miss a
dose of medication, so it is important to know what to do if this happens.
Antibiotics are usually taken between one and four times a day. Ideally your
doses should be equally spaced throughout the day and taken at the same times each day. This helps to maintain a constant level of
antibiotic in your bloodstream.
If you have missed one dose of antibiotic
In most cases, if you have missed one
antibiotic, you should not double the next
dose. Instead, you should continue taking your
doses as normal. You should not take a double
antibiotic because this increases the risk of side effects.
If you have missed several doses of antibiotic
If you have missed several
doses of your
antibiotic, or more than one day's treatment, you should contact your doctor for advice, particularly if you have missed
doses due to side effects, or illness.
If you find it difficult to remember to take your
antibiotics, you may find some of the following ideas useful:
Combine taking your
antibiotic with one of your usual daily activities - for example, take it after you brush your teeth. However, you will first need to check if your
antibiotic needs to be taken before or after food.
Mark off in a diary, or on a wall calendar, after you take each
Set an alarm to act as a prompt for when your next
dose is due. If you are still finding it difficult to remember to take your
antibiotics, you should ask your pharmacist or doctor about 'compliance aids'. These are boxes that allow medicines to be put into labeled compartments. They can help by reminding you to take your
antibiotics at specific times of the day, or on particular days of the week.
You should always finish a course of
antibiotics, even if you start to feel better. If you do not finish the course, or you miss several
doses, the infection may come back. You may also develop
antibiotic resistance, which is where the
bacteria in your body evolve to find ways of surviving the effects of the
antibiotic. This may be a problem if you need future treatment for a similar infection.
NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice,
diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your
physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere.
If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.