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I think I might have an ear infection. Can I take penicillin?

Its not expired, but it was prescribed to me for something else. Dont have insurence anymore and cant afford a doc trip or meds. Will it get rid of it?

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Asked by beckymom18 at 3:21 AM on Jun. 19, 2011 in Health

Level 6 (106 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • No,no,no.

    You should not even have that med anymore. The full dose should have been taken already. Penicillin barely even works now because of all the over use.

    Sudafed and motrin work for me, but that is because I get ear pain with my allergies. I don't know your history. There are other home remedies for mild inflammation, many ear infections do go away on their own. Regardless if after a few days it still hurts you need a doctor.

    Taking medicine not prescribed for that use too can just make your ear infection worse, by making it resistant.


    Answer by J9Mommy at 3:45 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I would say No, don't do it. You don't know for sure it is an ear infection, and as J9Mommy said it could make things worse. If you have ear pain, then take some pain meds (advil, tylenol, motrin). A warm, wet washcloth placed over the ear can help soothe ear pain as well. If your symptoms do not improve in a few days, or get worse then you should go in and see a doctor- and have it checked out. I hope you feel better soon!!

    Answer by MizLee at 3:54 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • Also, it is very rare for an adult to get an ear infection. Could it be inflamed from something like allergies?

    Answer by Candi1024 at 6:16 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • A bit of warmed mineral oil in the ear will help sooth it. It will probably go away on its own or with the help of the oil. If it doesn't in a few days then go to the docs.

    Answer by SalemWitchChild at 6:46 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I would advise against it. There are a variety of different bacterial infections and your doctor knows which types respond to which medications. So, although penicillian might be the correct anti-biotic for your infection, it might not be - each family of bacteria respond to different classes of meds. Also, you won't have the proper dose. Antibiotics have to be taken for their full course. Even after a person starts to feel better, there will still be pockets of bacteria in their system. If you stop taking the antibiotics early, you stand the possibility that those pockets will re-infect you - often with a worse infection than you had to begin with. Your left-over script won't give you a full course, so you could make yourself MORE sick by taking them.

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 7:26 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • People do it all the time. If you KNOW for sure that you have an ear infection then it will help. It is a general antibiotic. But if you take an antibiotic when you do not have an infection, it actually lowers the immune system and you can end up sick.

    Answer by attap5 at 10:34 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • Sorry I was actually trying to give the last answer a thumbs down. Dang ipad. "People do it all the time" is why mrsa is becoming a huge issue. Self medicating you don't know if you are getting the correct dose for the correct number of days.

    Answer by J9Mommy at 12:28 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • When they give out prescriptions they say to use it all. There is a reason for that. Please don't take this medication. Go and get it looked at and then take what they give you for this symptom. You could cause more harm than good. Especially if it is expired. I wouldn't play with my health like that. Good luck.

    Answer by SweetPea726 at 1:17 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

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