Science and Tech


Some Are Debating If You Should Finish Your Antibiotics Prescription

A group of medical professionals claims taking the full course of antibiotics can raise the risk of antibiotic resistance, but other experts disagree.
Posted at 2:05 PM, Jul 27, 2017

Some medical professionals argue it might be safer to stop your antibiotic treatments early, but that's still debated and goes against the advice of the World Health Organization.

In the past, doctors have probably told you to take your full course. If your doctor puts you on a five-day treatment plan — even if you feel better on Day 3 — you're usually told to take all five doses.

The fear is if you don't, some bacteria may survive and become immune to the antibiotic.

But a new report argues taking medications longer than you need can actually make developing antibiotic resistance more likely.

The article, which isn't peer-reviewed, says there's no evidence "that stopping antibiotic treatment early increases a patient's risk of resistant infection."

So instead of taking the entire medication, the authors advise to stop when you feel better.

They argue the WHO's advice doesn't factor in the antibiotics you've taken before and that how you react to the drug can affect the ideal length of your treatment.

Some medical experts are praising the advice in the article. But others recommend to approach it with caution.

Some told the Guardian when your symptoms go away, it doesn't always mean the infection is completely gone.