Coming down is hard to do
March 8, 2004 6:26 PM   Subscribe

coming off an antibiotic jag ...

Due to some extreme infection, it ends up that I'll be taking three different courses of antibiotics over the course of a month... two narrow and one broad ... (if you must know, amoxicillin, clindamycin, and soon, plain old penicillin). Assuming I survive the dental surgery otherwise unscathed, what are my best actions to take after coming off the antibiotics. Acidophilus, and then what? And how soon should I start doing it?
posted by crunchland to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)

Yowsa, Crunchland, good luck with that. Antibiotics can be hard on your kidneys and liver. Drink lots of water, and reduce your alcohol use. Nope, not a doctor.
posted by theora55 at 6:59 PM on March 8, 2004

(Actually, I believe you are meant to completely stop all alcohol intake when on antibiotics, theora55. I may be wrong too, though. This is what doctors have always told me, but they lie, the tricksy doctors.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:09 PM on March 8, 2004

I don't think the antibiotics you're on are intended to flush out the intestinal system, I think you'd needed heavy IV or Cipro doses to do that. If that's the case you'd lose bacteria in your stomach and experience cramps, and some intestinal problems. When you come off it you eat yogurt and possibly take I believe what is called "probiotics". But to get to that point you need to be taking pretty heavy antiobiotics for something more then a dental infection. I believe fecal transplants are very, very rare if done at all today. I could be wrong.

Of course this is remembering my biology courses.
posted by geoff. at 9:28 PM on March 8, 2004

Crunchland, anytime I take antibiotics, I start taking acidophilus immediately and concurrently with them. I would highly recommend that you do the same, since you are going to be on them so long. Also, what the others said about drinking lots of water and little or no alcohol. And good luck with the surgery and recovery.
posted by Lynsey at 10:54 PM on March 8, 2004

geoff: actually, dental infections use relatively high doses of antibiotics. I wait until after the drugs before starting the acidophilus.

Thanks FFF, I just spent the last hour reading Geez, lots of amusing stuff!
posted by Goofyy at 1:16 AM on March 9, 2004

Staying off the alcohol can be a good idea, its a myth that it just gets you pissed more quickly, it can also impact on the usefulness of the antibiotics and/or react badly, leaving you shitting battery acid.
posted by biffa at 2:25 AM on March 9, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for the tips on the alcohol. I'm really not much of a drinker, so it hasn't been a problem. My kidneys are sort of achey, now that you mention it, though.

The current course I'm on now insists that I take it with food, that I drink at least 8 oz. of water with it, and that I remain upright for 30 minutes after taking it. And I do this 4 times a day.
posted by crunchland at 3:51 AM on March 9, 2004

I second the yogurt recommendation. The active live cultures you consume when you eat yogurt will help keep the nasties out until your own "nice" bacteria come back to protect you (everybody has lots of critters living on them, which is natural and good, as above they help keep the nasties out). Antibiotics will indiscriminately wipe out anything that might be attacking you as well as a good chunk of the locals, which is why so many people get sick again after coming off antibiotics. This is what my mom, the nurse, told me, so I would assume all that is true.

Also, take ALL your prescription, don't stop when you "feel better." I'm sure you've heard it before, but it's true. Always finish medications.

Sounds like it's going to be a rough ride for a while, good luck!!
posted by nelleish at 12:31 PM on March 9, 2004

Lots of good advice here. I'd add Biphidus supplements (often available with Acidophilus supplements) and also the general sort of dietary regimen which has been devised for people suffering from persistent Candida overgrowths ( far more common than most think ) : in general the avoidance of nearly all dietary sugar and overly refined carbohydrates.

Candida overgrowths often result from heavy antibiotic use. They can be quite nasty and difficult to eradicate. Candida Albicans normally exists at certain levels in the human digestive tract, but it is a two-stage organism which can change from it's yeast form to it's fungal form with too much sugar. In it's fungal form Candida can migrate widely, wreaking considerable havoc, throughout the human body. It is an evil fungus.
posted by troutfishing at 7:59 PM on March 9, 2004

Fascinating marginalia: apparently we are more bacteria than we are human, cell for cell.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:17 PM on March 9, 2004

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