When the doctor prescribes an antibiotic, he always indicates the times for taking it; generally it is taken at intervals of 8, 12 and 24 hours. But what happens when we forget to stick to the prescribed schedule?

Dr. Antonio Voza, head of Humanitas First Aid, talked about it in an interview.

Antibiotics and wrong timing: an ineffective cure

If the recommended times and intervals are not respected, the antibiotic therapy loses its effectiveness: “The intervals of the time of use indicated by the doctor are established on the basis of the characteristics of the antibiotic itself – explained Voza -. Any drug, and also the antibiotic, has its own half-life time, in other words the time in when it is absorbed and then eliminated by the body, and a MIC (Minimum Inhibiting Concentration) or the minimum concentration of antibiotic necessary to prevent the growth of a microorganism.

They are called “temporally-dependent antibiotics” precisely because their effectiveness depends on the respect of the intake time and the interval is the necessary time in which the concentration above the MIC remains stable in our organism. “To simplify – continued the doctor – it means that if you forget to take the antibiotic at 18 and take it at 20, the next dosage of antibiotic will always take into consideration the time interval that, if twelve hours, will bring the next dosage at 8 and not at 6 as would have been the case if we had forgotten the antibiotic at 18.00”.

In addition, the expert’s advice is “never to suspend the therapy”, before the established deadline, unless it is expressly indicated by the treating physician.

The struggle against do-it-yourself in order to combat antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics should only be taken in case of bacterial infections and only after medical consultation. Many people take them without the advice of their doctor, perhaps to treat viral diseases, which have nothing to do with antibiotics. One of the countries in Europe with the highest resistance to antibiotics is Italy: according to data from the Institute of Health, every year about 7-10% of the patients are affected by a multiresistant bacterial infection.