Can You Get Antibiotics Over The Counter? Can You Get Antibiotics Over The Counter?

Can You Get Antibiotics Over the Counter?


There is a good chance you wonder why you can't buy antibiotics over the counter since they are prescribed frequently throughout a person's life. Antibiotics are some of the most powerful and quickest remedies against harmful bacteria, whether treating STIs, urinary tract infections, ear infections, or stomach infections. You need to consult your healthcare professional to prescribe the right antibiotic since many ever-evolving bacteria exist. This article explains which antibiotics can be purchased over the counter and which require a prescription.

Additionally, we'll explore what ailments can be treated with antibiotics and when medical consultation is necessary.


Can You Get Antibiotics Over the Counter?

Antibiotics are powerful medications that destroy bacteria or slow their growth. Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history to determine the best antibiotics for your ailment.

Mobi Health can connect you to healthcare professionals immediately and help you get the best treatment if you have an urgent question.


Antibiotics Available Over the Counter


Before purchasing and using any medication, speaking with a medical specialist is always advisable. The use of topical antibiotics is common in the treatment of skin damage, such as scratches, scrapes, and minor burns. As topical skin ailments are treated with them, they come in ointments, creams, sprays, and powders.

Topical antibiotics over-the-counter include:


  • Pramoxine

  • Polymyxin (Polysporin)

  • Bacitracin (Neosporin)

  • Benzoyl peroxide (Proactiv)

  • Neomycin (Neosporin Plus Pain Relief)


When topical antibiotics are not needed, they can do more harm than good and irritate the skin. Therefore, it is vital to consult a medical professional before taking any antibiotics, even if they are available over the counter.


Commonly Prescribed Antibiotics

A wide variety of antibiotics are available under several different brands, with various indications for treatment. Considering that each antibiotic is designed to fight a specific type of bacterium, your medical provider will need to know your ailment before prescribing the right antibiotic. Antibiotics are generally not interchangeable between different bacterial infections since they are specific to the type of bacteria being treated. The use of some antibiotics is more common than others because they can be used to treat a variety of bacteria at once. These are some of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics:



This penicillin-type antibiotic is prescribed in combination with other antibiotics and medications to treat an infection.



Giving this antibiotic before surgery can sometimes prevent infections. However, a prescription may be needed to treat more serious bacterial infections, such as pneumonia or meningitis.



As one of the fluoroquinolones, this antibiotic belongs to a group of drugs that can treat many bacterial infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia.

There are some side effects associated with this medication, including headaches, numbness, and effects on the body's mental health, which is why it is usually only prescribed when there is no alternative.



The most common uses of this antibiotic are to treat digestive and vaginal infections caused by bacteria.

Another use for metronidazole is treating sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) caused by parasites. Flagyl is one of the most popular brands of metronidazole.



Rare or severe infections are commonly treated with this antibiotic, which stops bacteria from growing.



This cephalosporin antibiotic can treat UTIs, ear infections, and bone infections.

Children and adults alike receive it as a prescription.



A variety of illnesses can be treated with doxycycline, including acne, bacterial pneumonia, chlamydia, Lyme disease, cholera, syphilis, and chlamydia. There is also evidence that this antibiotic has anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, it can also be used to prevent dermatologic infections.

Many other antibiotics are available, and you should ask your healthcare provider for a complete list of antibiotics your illness may require.


What Antibiotics Are Used For

Sharing or taking antibiotics prescribed for another person is not a good idea. Additionally, you shouldn't save antibiotics for use in the future since they may not always be the proper medication.


Antibiotics can be used to treat the following illnesses or infections:


  • Meningitis

  • Bacterial pneumonia

  • Otitis media (Ear infection)

  • Sinus infections

  • Bladder and kidney infections

  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

  • Strep throat

  • Acne

  • Skin or soft tissue infection

  • Upper respiratory tract infection

  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

  • Bronchitis

  • Vaginal infections (bacterial vaginosis)

  • Traveller’s diarrhoea

  • Conjunctivitis (Pink eye)

  • Dental infections and gum disease


Do I Need A Prescription For Antibiotics?

The majority of antibiotics require a prescription. Any antibiotic or medication should be discussed with a healthcare professional before use, even if no prescription is required. The effectiveness of each medication, especially antibiotics, varies from person to person. Side effects of one medication may differ completely from those of another. When you are finished taking the medication, it is important to discard it according to the dosage instructions on your prescription. Be careful to stay within the recommended dosage; talk to your healthcare provider if you forget to take a dose.

Even if you start feeling better halfway through your antibiotic prescription, it is recommended that you finish the full course.


How To Get Antibiotics

When you speak with your doctor, your medical provider may ask you a few questions and perform a physical examination to determine the cause and severity of your infection.

There are times when you may need antibiotics, and the professional will be able to determine the best treatment option for your complaint.

You should check with your insurance provider before getting a prescription for an antibiotic to ensure that it will be covered under your plan if you receive one.

Your healthcare provider can suggest an alternative if it is not the case.


When to Seek Medical Attention

Most antibiotics require a prescription from a medical professional, as mentioned in this guide. You may only sometimes need antibiotics to treat most types of bacterial infections. The side effect of antibiotics is nausea or diarrhoea, which happens in rare cases and if taken too frequently. Seek medical attention if you are experiencing severe side effects from an antibiotic.


Frequently Asked Questions


What Is The Closest Over-The-Counter Drug To Antibiotics?

It is essential to consult a health care provider before taking antibiotics or anything similar to them since most are prescription drugs. Several topical drugs, such as neomycin and polysporin, are similar to Neosporin.


Can I Get Antibiotics Without Seeing A Doctor?

Some topical antibiotics are available over the counter (OTC), but most are prescription drugs. Whether a prescription or OTC antibiotic is correct depends on whether you suspect a bacterial infection.

How Can Mobi Doctor Help

With Mobi Doctor, you have access to online urgent care.



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