You Should Avoid Taking These Antibiotics On An Empty Stomach

Antibiotics are a class of medications that can kill off bad bacteria making you sick. You might need an antibiotic if you have an infection caused by bacteria, like a urinary tract infection (UTI) or strep throat (via the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). There are different kinds of antibiotics, and each is useful for treating specific bacteria. For example, cephalosporin antibiotics are effective for treating meningitis and strep throat, while penicillin can treat respiratory infections and sexually transmitted diseases (via Healthgrades).

Each antibiotic will come with specific directions for use, and it's important to follow these guidelines to ensure the medicine works optimally. Following the instructions can also help minimize side effects. You might find that your antibiotic needs to be taken at the exact same time every day or requires refrigeration to maintain efficacy (via GoodRx). Another crucial direction to look for is whether or not the antibiotics need to be taken on an empty stomach or with food. For example, HealthlinkBC reports that the antibiotic tetracycline works best when taken on an empty stomach and with a full glass of water.

Amoxicillin and doxycycline should be taken with food

If you are prescribed amoxicillin or doxycycline, it's advised to take these antibiotics with food. Healthline reports that taking these medications with food can help reduce the risk of stomach-related symptoms like cramping, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the use of most antibiotics tend to cause gastric symptoms, but following the directions can help reduce the risk for these unwanted effects.

More severely, long-term antibiotic use increases the risk for C. diff, an infection that causes colon inflammation, or colitis. The Cleveland Clinic recommends following the doctors' instructions and taking a high-quality probiotic while using antibiotics, by way of Greek yogurt or a supplement.

While the side effects of antibiotics may put you off, if your doctor prescribed them it means the benefits outweigh the risk. Stay connected with your doctor and utilize your pharmacist while on antibiotics, and always follow the directions.