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A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 16291
Experience:  Board Certified NP, MS, RN. 25 years private practice & hospitalist
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A few years ago, I was taking an antibiotic and I went to

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A few years ago, I was taking an antibiotic and I went to see a dr about something and he told me as long as I took an antibiotic for a minimum of 5 days it was ok to stop. Is that ok? I'm asking because I'm experiencing symptoms and I was put on an antibiotic as a precaution and would prefer not to be on it any longer...and it's been over 5 days already.


Answers provided are for informational use only and do not confer patient-provider relationship. My name is ***** ***** I will help you.

What you were told is not true. You should take the antibiotic according to the instructions on the label until all of it is gone. The only time one would stop an antibiotic early is if there were an allergic reaction to it, and then a different antibiotic would be prescribed to cover the infection.

Stopping prior to that fosters antibiotic resistance. What happens is that all of the bacteria are not necessarily killed if you stop too early, but they have been exposed to the antibiotic and change themselves so they won't be susceptible to that antibiotic when they encounter it again. That is what has resulted in supergerms like MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant "bugs." There are indeed some conditions that only require 3-5 days of antibiotics versus 10-14 days for others, but your medical provider will know what they are and prescribe only enough to cure the infection. Please take all of your medicine so you don't get a rebound infection.

Please let me know if you have questions.

Kind regards,



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