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Antibiotics Over The Counter

Can You Get Antibiotics Over the Counter?

Some antibiotics are available over the counter, but most of the antibiotics require a prescription from a doctor. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. Generally, antibiotics are avoided for viral infections. Antibiotics work by attacking and killing bacteria. Different types of antibiotics are made for different bacterial infections.

Some other medicines are available over the counter and can be used prior to antibiotics. For example-

  •    Azo- This medicine is used to release symptoms of urinary tract infection. Sometimes these medications are enough, but sometimes antibiotics are needed to treat and cure the disease.

Are There Antibiotics that Can Get Over the Counter?

Yes, there are lots of antibiotics that can get over the counter. These can be found at any local drug pharmacy. But, only certain types of antibiotics, such as topical antibiotics, are available over the counter. Stronger antibiotics, such as oral antibiotics, are not available over the counter.

Antibiotics can be given in different ways in and on the body. There are so many ways to take antibiotics.

The four types of antibiotic-taking ways are:

  •    Topical (some over-the-counter availability)
  •    Oral (prescription required)
  •    Intravenous (IV) (prescription required)
  •    Intramuscular (IM) (prescription required)

Less invasive administration ways of antibiotics are externally used antibiotics. Some of the topical antibiotics are available over the counter. These antibiotics are creams that are spread onto the skin to treat minor wounds, scrapes, burns, and acne.

Topical over-the-counter antibiotics include:

  •    Neosporin (bacitracin/neomycin/polymyxin B)
  •    Polysporin (bacitracin/polymyxin B)
  •    Neosporin Plus (neomycin/polymyxin B/pramoxine)
  •    Proactiv/Clearskin (Benzoyl peroxide)

Topical antibiotics are generic brands available and manufactured as a cream or ointment that can be directly applied to the skin.

Whereas, Oral, intravenous, and intramuscular antibiotics are not available over the counter. Oral antibiotics are taken by mouth to treat bacterial infections.

Some common bacterial infections that require oral antibiotics are:

  •    Urinary tract infections
  •    Strep throat
  •    Certain Sexually Transmitted Infections
  •    Severe skin infections, also known as Cellulitis
  •    Dental infections
  •    Pneumonia

Does it Need a Prescription For Antibiotics?

There are many antibiotic creams used for minor cuts, scrapes, and burns that do not require a prescription. But for oral antibiotics, a prescription is required.

What are the Most Commonly Prescribed Antibiotics?

There are a lot of antibiotics for different treatments. Some common antibiotics are:

  •    Ceftriaxone
  •    Piperacillin/tazobactam
  •    Levofloxacin
  •    Amoxicillin
  •    Azithromycin
  •    Clindamycin
  •    Metronidazole

All antibiotics have benefits of use as well as risks. Antibiotics can cause other problems, including gut microbiome disturbance, and side effects such as vomiting, and can interact with other medicines you take. As there are complications in the use of oral antibiotics so it needs a prescription from a medical doctor.

Can I Get Antibiotics Without Seeing a Doctor?

Yes, anyone can not get some oral antibiotics like amoxicillin and penicillin, without talking to a doctor.

Whereas a video or phone call is the best way to get prescribed antibiotics. During an online consultation, a doctor can diagnose the infection and suggest an appropriate treatment method, including antibiotics if necessary. Antibiotic prescriptions of patients will be electronically sent to the local pharmacy for pick up.

Why a Prescription is Required For Oral Antibiotics?

  •    To avoid misuse and overuse of antibiotics. Overuse of oral antibiotics can cause harm to people and encourage bacteria to mutate into “super” bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Doctors know when antibiotics are required.
  •    Different antibiotics treat different bacteria, and you would need to know which bacteria you were treated in order to correctly purchase an antibiotic over the counter, something best left to a licensed physician to determine.
  •    Antibiotics also have some side effects and they can also interact with other medications. A physician can ensure that the antibiotics taken are not dangerous for anyone.

Getting Antibiotics Online

Specialty Care Clinic’s primary care physicians can prescribe antibiotics online following a virtual consultation if needed. Anyone can book an appointment to speak with our physician about the symptoms. Your Specialty Care Clinic doctor can help determine if antibiotic treatment is appropriate, and write you a prescription for the correct antibiotic if you qualify.

You can book an appointment on Specialty Care Clinic website to consult with our experts.