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How important is penicillin dose timing?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 24, 2023.

I have an abscess around the roots of a broken tooth and was prescribed Penicillin VK 500mg 4 times a day, so every 6 hours. Do you think its out of the question to take it every 4 hours, so that I don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to take them? Or is it an issue of keeping the doses timed so that the infection doesn't get worse if I don't keep it at consistent intervals throughout the night? Thanks for any input.

Official answer


In an ideal world - every 6 hours is best. In hospital they would dose you every 6 hours. This is what you should do if your infection is severe.

In the real world it is more practical or realistic that most people take it only during waking hours. If you do this then take your first dose as soon as you wake up and then the last dose just before bed and then try and space the other 2 doses out as evenly as possible during the day. Make sure you take your antibiotic until they are all finished, even if you feel 100% before your course is finished.

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