i HAVE A BOTTLE OF DOXYCYCLINE I WAS TAKING FOR ACNE .IT IS 5 YEARS OLD. WILL IT HARM ME TO TAKE NOW ?
Absolutely! This group of antibiotics called tetracyclines can actually become toxic with age. They are no longer any good-get rid of them! With other classes of antibiotics, mainly age effects their potency by decreasing it so they are no longer effective but tetracyclines can actually harm you to take them because the chemical composition can become toxic. It is never a good idea to take unused antibiotics for a number of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is the fact that antibiotics have to be taken in a course. You need a certain number of pills for a certain number of days to kill an infection. This is why you should always take ALL of your pills even if you feel better before the course of treatment is over. If you do not take the full course, it leads to antibiotic resistance by the bacteria. The bacteria are exposed to this antibiotic but not enough to kill it off so it can actually build up a resistance and that antibiotic will no longer work on this specific strain of bacteria. You have heard of an organism called MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)? Staphylococcus aureus is a very common bacterial strain that lives on everybody's skin. Our immune system and balance of "good" bacteria vs "bad" bacteria keeps us healthy and keeps staph from giving us active infection, most of the time, but in certain conditions will allow us to get a "staph infection" S. aureus or "staph" can cause a range of illnesses, from minor skin infections, such as acne pimples, impetigo, boils (furuncles), cellulitis folliculitis, carbuncles, scalded skin syndrome, and abscesses, to life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, osteomyelitis, endocarditis, toxic shock syndrome (TSS), bacteremia, and sepsis. Its incidence ranges from skin, soft tissue, respiratory, bone, joint, endovascular to wound infections. It is still one of the five most common causes of nosocomial (hospital acquired infections are called nosocomial infection and usually involve the resistant kind) infections and is often the cause of postsurgical wound infections. Each year, some 500,000 patients in American hospitals contract a staphylococcal infection. Staph evolved into the resistant strain MRSA mainly by people not taking their medications (antibiotics) correctly so certain staph strains began to get resistant. A lot of people think when they feel better, they can just stop their antibiotics. If you dont need it, why take it, right? WRONG!! This is a prime example of how to end up being colonized with MRSA (colonized means the bacteria is present on your skin but you dont have active infection.) A person should NEVER have "left over antibiotics" because you should always finish the full course for the full amount of days. One possible exception is if your Dr cultures a wound and starts you on a broad spectrum antibiotic before getting the culture results and then he finds out that drug he gave is not effective against the infection and so he changes the antibiotic, even then, they will often have you finish both now to help avoid resistance since your body has a number of different bacteria strains on you and in you at all times. Antibiotics do not discriminate between the good beneficial strains and the bad ones. If they are susceptible, it kills them. Another reason is over use. For years, if a person, especially children, came to the doctor or pediatrician with a cold virus or other virus, the doctor automatically wrote a prescription for antibiotics and this doesnt sound so bad until you consider that antibiotics are not at all effective against viruses. Colds are caused by a virus, earaches are often caused by viral infection and congestion. Granted, sometimes one can get what is called a secondary bacterial infection after having a virus like a cold. The virus causes congestion and bacteria can begin to over grow in he fluids leading to sinus infections and the like but the doctors have found out that automatically prescribing antibiotics to cover an infection that may, or may not occur does more harm than good! So be sure to get rid of old drugs. Ask your pharmacy if they have a drug take back program. Many of them do so they dont get into trash and get into our water supplies (or in the case of controlled substances, get onto the streets by people accessing your trash for drugs-it happens more than one would think!). Never flush old meds down the toilet! If your pharmacy doesnt have a See your Doctor/dermatologist for a new prescription
- Doxycycline Information for Consumers
- Doxycycline Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Doxycycline (detailed)
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