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Topic: Medications

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about the home care of a child on antibiotics. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse practitioner to go over any information you do not understand.

You have been given a prescription for ________________________________, an antibiotic.

What is an antibiotic?

Antibiotics are medicines given to treat infections caused by bacteria. Your child has been given this antibiotic to treat _________________________.

How to give the antibiotic:

Give ___________ teaspoon/tablet/capsule ________ times a day for _______ days. Give every dose, EVEN IF YOUR CHILD BEGINS TO FEEL BETTER. You may also need to wake your child at night to give his or her medication as ordered. Give the medicine only as directed. Do not expect your child to feel better right away. The infection must begin to get better first. This may take a few days of antibiotic treatments.

General instructions

  1. If you receive a liquid medicine, keep it in the refrigerator unless told otherwise.
  2. With liquid medicines, shake the bottle well before pouring the dose your child needs.
  3. If your child goes to school or to a baby-sitter, arrange for someone to give the medicine.
  4. Older children may drink the medicine from a medicine spoon, small medicine cup or may swallow a pill.
  5. Younger children and infants will need to be given the medicine with a syringe. Place the syringe inside the side of the child’s mouth and slowly squirt the medicine along the cheek. Place the child in a semi-sitting position while giving the medicine, so he or she can swallow. If the child begins coughing, stop giving the medicine. After coughing stops, begin again, squirting the medicine more slowly. You may need some help from another adult at first.
  6. Use only medication spoons, syringes or medicine cups to measure medication (teaspoons used for food vary in amount).
  7. Never give this (or any) medication to anyone except the child it is ordered for, even if another person has symptoms like your child. Throw away any leftover antibiotic.
  8. Most medicines are flavored so the child will take it better. A child may try to take more on his own. Use the top shelf of the refrigerator for medications. Keep medication out of your child’s reach.
  9.  Always talk positively to your child about taking the medicine.
  10. Call your doctor if your child refuses to take the medicine or if you think your child is having a reaction to the medication. If you are unable to reach a doctor, seek medical attention or call the pharmacy, which filled the prescription.
  11. Sometimes the amount of antibiotic is not enough to complete the course as it was prescribed, as some may spill or stick inside the bottle. Consult with the prescribing physician if you have concerns there is not enough antibiotic.

Side effects:

  1.  Antibiotics can cause some side effects or reactions that are usually harmless. These include nausea (upset stomach), vomiting (throwing up) or diarrhea (very loose stools).
  2.  If your child throws up one dose of the medication, wait 30 minutes to an hour then try to give it to him again. Try one time only. If the child throws up again, call your doctor.
  3.  If your child develops a rash or hives or is vomiting all his medicine, call the child’s doctor. If you are unable to reach a doctor right away, call the emergency department.

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about your child and antibiotics, please ask your child’s doctor or nurse practitioner.


PDF: Antibioltics

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010


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