When you're sick, listen to your mother: go see your doctor and find out what illness you have and how to get better. If you're diagnosed with a bacterial infection, your doctor can provide a host of treatment options, which may include antibiotics.
To treat a bacterial illness such as sinusitis or an ear infection, your doctor might prescribe a regimen of antibiotics to kill the bacteria and help you feel better faster. Antibiotics come in several dosing schedules ranging from a single dose, to twice a day up to multiple doses a day for more than a week. You may be tempted to ask your doctor for a medication with the fewest number of doses, but there are other factors your doctor may consider.
When your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, he or she will consider the drug's efficacy in treating the specific infection and the potential side effects to determine the best medicine for you. Among the commonly prescribed antibiotics are cephalosporins, some of which are effective against sinusitis, skin infections, ear infections and other bacterial infections, and are generally well-tolerated.
Your doctor may determine that single-dose medicines are not necessarily the best for your infection. One-day doses may not be currently recommended by expert guidelines as good treatment options for your infection. If these medicines do not completely eliminate the infection and the infection remains, it may become immune to the medicine leading to what experts call "antibiotic resistance."
Remembering to take the full course of a prescription is important even if you feel better after a few days. Taking the full course of the medicine maintains the effectiveness of the drug, killing the bacteria causing the infection, while helping to reduce the risk of resistance. If you suspect you may have a bacterial infection, talk to your doctor about the best antibiotic for you-especially one with convenient dosing options and one that is generally well-tolerated.