Can I have the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster vaccine together if I am taking antibiotics?

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Research by the British Medical Journal reported “administering an influenza vaccine at the same time as a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine produced no safety concerns and preserves the immune response to both vaccines”. Furthermore, The Department of Health has also stated that it is safe to have both the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine at the same time. …

My friend/family member has an infection, can I give them some of my antibiotics until they can see a doctor?

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You should never share your antibiotics with someone else. Different infections can be caused by different bacteria. For example, chest infections and urinary tract (water) infections are caused by very different infection, as are infections of cuts and wounds. Therefore, the antibiotics you are given for one infection might not treat the bacteria that cause your friend or family member’s …

When I was admitted to hospital I was told I had to have a rectal (back passage) swab to test for resistant bacteria. What does this mean and why was I tested?

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A rectal swab test is common practice in the UK and is nothing to worry about. Bacteria are naturally in your gut and help to digest food and form part of your immune system. However, these bacteria can also cause infections if they get into a different part of your body, such as urinary tract infections. Increased use of antibiotics …

How do I dispose of unused antibiotics?

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Antibiotics should never be put into your household waste, poured down the sink, or flushed down the toilet. This causes antibiotics to escape into the environment which can lead to antibiotic resistance developing in the soil, plants and animals. If you do have any left over antibiotics, take these to your local community pharmacy where they can be disposed of …

Can antibiotics help fight off COVID-19?

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Antibiotics work by targeting differences between bacterial cells and human cells. As a virus, COVID-19 lacks the components that antibiotics target therefore they are ineffective against the virus itself. Some antibiotics have been studied to see if they can help patients with COVID-19. For example azithromycin, which is sometimes taken by those with chest infections and can also help to …

I’m on a low potassium diet, do the COVID vaccines contain potassium?

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Low potassium diets may be recommended by healthcare professionals for several reasons but usually it’s in relation to kidney disease. Medication can contain potassium, although this is usually in small amounts. The Pfizer vaccine contains a very small amount of potassium, less than 1mmol or 39mg per dose, which is classified essentially ‘potassium-free’. The other vaccines used in the UK …

If I’m taking antibiotics will this affect the results of a COVID-19 test?

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Tests for COVID-19 work by looking for the presence of certain parts of the virus itself, which are unique to COVID-19, therefore confirm it is there in the sample. You can read more about the tests and how they work on the Royal College of Pathologists website here. Antibiotics only work against bacteria (germs) and not viruses like COVID-19. Therefore …

Can some antibiotics make me more sensitive to the sun?

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Unfortunately yes, there is a connection between antibiotics and sun sensitivity. Some antibiotics (and other medicines) can make you more sensitive to the effects of the sun causing sun burn and rashes more easily than you normally might. The most common antibiotic associated with this is doxycycline, which is used for chest infections, skin infections (cellulitis) including MRSA and pelvic …

I got a rash whilst I was taking antibiotics, does this mean I am allergic?

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Rashes can develop due to many reasons and might not be due to the antibiotic. If you develop a rash whilst taking antibiotics please discuss with the person who prescribed you them. Please take note of where the rash has developed. Did it cover the whole of the body or was it restricted to a small patch? Was the rash …

I have recently received my COVID-19 vaccine. Can I still get COVID-19 despite having the vaccine?

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Public Health England state the following: The COVID-19 vaccine that you have had has been shown to reduce the chance of you suffering from COVID-19 disease. It may take a few weeks for your body to build up some protection from the vaccine. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions to …

Can taking low-dose antibiotics regularly (long term) prevent getting recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)?

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Long term use of antibiotics is associated with antimicrobial resistance, therefore it is very important to discuss this with your doctor. Starting regular antibiotics for prevention of a UTI will depend on a number of factors, such as number of infections over a period of time, any other underlying health conditions, sexual history and microbiology results of your urine sample. …

I am currently taking a course of antibiotics and have received a Roche blood sample antibodies test. Should I wait until I’ve finished the antibiotics before doing/sending the small sample of blood they require?

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Antibiotics should not affect your COVID-19 test. Antibiotics are effective against bacterial infections and don’t treat viruses. COVID-19 is a virus and so the viral antibody test targets antibodies against the spike protein, therefore you can still be tested for COVID-19 antibodies when on antibiotics and it should not interfere with the result.

I have symptoms of UTI but a negative urine test showing no infection, what could this be?

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If you have symptoms of UTI with a negative urine test then this will need to be looked at in detail by your doctor, as it can still be a possible urine infection that hasn’t been picked up on the urine test. Your doctor may repeat the urine test or refer you for further tests to find out the cause …

Why do men have to take longer courses of antibiotics for treatment of UTI compared to women?

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Male UTI treatments are often longer and more complicated than those for women. Because of how the male urinary tract system is naturally, when men get UTI they are classed as ‘complicated UTIs’. This means it is more difficult to treat UTIs in men and therefore requires a longer course of antibiotics compared to women. In most cases this is …

Does stopping a course of antibiotics early lead to antibiotic resistance?

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There has been a lot of research into how long antibiotic courses should be, to determine the shortest possible length of course needed to completely kill all bacteria. If you are being treated for an infection, the kind of antibiotics your doctor prescribes and the length of the course should be based on the best evidence. Feeling better, or an …

I have a recurrent resistant bacterial infection which often requires treatment with antibiotics via injections. Are there such options available in the community or does this always have to be treated in a hospital setting?

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Yes, community Outpatient Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT) service is a community team which delivers intravenous (IV) antibiotics (antibiotics via a drip) in a community setting as an alternative to inpatient care. It allows patients who are medically stable and whose only reason for admission or an extended length of stay in hospital is the requirement for IV antibiotic therapy to receive …