Use of all antibiotics may temporarily reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills; alternative birth control methods should be used while taking these medications. Antacids should be avoided while on tetracyclines as the calcium can impair absorption of this antibiotic class. For this reason, tetracyclines should not be taken just before or after consuming foods rich in calcium or iron. Consult specialized references for additional interactions to specific antibiotics.
To minimize risk of adverse reactions and development of resistant strains of bacteria, antibiotics should be restricted to use in cases where there is either known or a reasonable presumption of bacterial infection. The use of antibiotics in viral infections is to be avoided. Avoid use of fluroquinolones for trivial infections.
In severe infections, presumptive therapy with a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as a third generation cephalosporin may be appropriate. Treatment should be changed to a narrow spectrum agent as soon as the pathogen has been identified. After 48 hours of treatment, if there is clinical improvement, an oral antibiotic should be considered.
When the pathogen is known or suspected to be Pseudomonas, a suitable beta-lactam drug is often prescribed in combination with an aminoglycoside. A single agent cannot be relied upon for treatment of Pseudomonas. When the patient has renal insufficiency, azactam should be considered in place of the aminoglycoside.
In treatment of children with antibiotic suspensions, caregivers should be instructed in use of oral syringes or measuring teaspoons. Household teaspoons are not standardized and will give unreliable doses.
Moellering, R. C., Jr. "Linezolid." Summaries for Patients. Annals of Internal Medicine 138 (January 21, 2003): I-44.
Samuel Uretsky PharmD, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,