Are There Any Over-the-counter Alternatives To Prescription Antibiotics?

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A few of my buddies were rough housing this weekend and long story short, one friend got poked in the arm with a fork. He would prefer not to go to the doctor, but I’m concerned that he might get an infection from having a food encrusted fork jabbed into his bicep. We have been online, researching proper care for the wound and are looking for a medication that can help fight infection (along the lines of Ibuprofen, Advil, even home remedies) He is more up on the idea of paying 5 bucks for a bottle of pills than a few hundred for a doctor visit.

Don’t compound one silly mistake by making another. Your friend needs to visit the doctor, there are too many infections that could take hold and once they have, well it’s too late.
I don’t live in the US so am appalled that a doctors visit can be so expensive! Here in Australia we certainly don’t have the perfect health system but at least we can can go to the doctor for free in places that have bulk billing.
Anyway, save your rough housing when you are not at the dining table!
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8 Responses to “Are There Any Over-the-counter Alternatives To Prescription Antibiotics?”

  1. Marie says:

    Ibuprofen and Advil are the same thing. They don’t fight infections, though they may reduce swelling and pain. There are antibiotic ointments that he could use–things like Neosporin. Those are just topical. If it turns out he has a blood infection, they will not help. There is just no such thing as an over-the-counter oral antibiotic in the US, and if an infection gets into his blood, he would need IV antibiotics anyway.
    I really, really think that he should go to a doctor or clinic. If he’s determined not to…
    Please clean the wound carefully using alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. He really MUST go to the doctor if there is any doubt at all that his tetanus vaccination is up to date–that is just not something that is worth fooling around with. He should also go if the wound is deeper than you can see from the surface, because it is possible that foreign matter will be trapped inside the wound. Otherwise, if the wound becomes inflamed, red, hot, swollen–he MUST go to a doctor immediately; those are signs of infection. Please tell him to remember that if he does have an infection, it is better to treat it sooner rather than later.
    Please tell your friend to be careful, and tell him that a nice med student on Yahoo Answers really thinks he should be checked out. Okay?

  2. Irv S says:

    Check on the wound. A puncture will get infected
    easily, especially if it’s contaminated with foreign matter.
    Is it hot, red, swollen? – It’s infected, and unless it
    starts to improve within a day, it’s time for
    that doctors visit.
    There are NO reliable alternatives to prescription
    anti-biotics once they’re indicated.
    That said, if the wound is small, and heals normally,
    don’t sweat it.
    Most of our immune systems are pretty darn good.

  3. Ignorant people and I dont mix:) says:

    I know garlic, echinacea, and golden seal are said to be good natural antibiotics. Also, he can apply Neosporin ointment to his wound. Neosporin ointment is an effective first aid antibiotic that is used to prevent infections in minor scrapes.

  4. John de Witt says:

    Maire has a good answer, except that alcohol and hydrogen peroxide will increase, not decrease, the risk of wound infection. They kill more fibroblasts than bacteria. He may have to use peroxide to get rid of crust (scab), but if possible soap and water cleansing is best.

  5. Louis G says:

    get some “Thermazene” its very strong and used to be a prescription, but is now available OTC on the net, it works amazingly well and kills fungi as well as bacteria

  6. sonnyday says:

    Clean the wound with alcohol or iodine. Put on some of that healing ointment if you want to. Apply a clean, sterile dressing.
    If he develops an infection, it could be minor, or it could be severe. If it’s minor, it’ll clear up on its own, or be a couple hundred to treat. If it’s severe, the longer you wait, the more difficult, dangerous, and expensive it becomes to treat, especially if he needs to be hospitalized.
    There is no over-the-counter alternative to prescription antibiotics. Antibiotics are incredibly powerful drugs and are not sold OTC, they are potentially lethal if not taken as prescribed, or could make things much worse.
    Ibuprofen/Advil helps with the symptoms, namely the pain or swelling and fever that accompanies a wound or infection, but they are not antibiotics and do not really help recovery time if he has already developed an infection. As for home remedies, good luck.

  7. energy dreamer says:

    There are a few alternative treatments that mimick antibiotics but none will have any valuable effect on a deep wound infection. It sounds like you have already learned a bit about wound care, so keep watching your friend for any increase in local pain, irritation beyond his norm, any fever (buy a thermometer), keep it clean (soap and water), perhaps also clean it with hydrogen peroxide. Nothing will safely reach fork tooth length. Depending on how he feels now, his best bet would be a doctor. Be aware that tetanus is a potential problem (though a cooked pork encrusted fork is not the most likely place to have it) but once the effects of that toxin set in … it is too late.

  8. Helios says:

    One alternative to antibiotics is vitamin A in massive doses. According to Dr. Atkins, this can be a stand-in for antibiotic. Whenever I get a cold – especially in the lungs – I begin to take 100,000 IU’s of vitamin A/day – 50K in the morning and 50K at night. And you’re safe with this dose for about the month. Really cuts the symptoms of a cold.
    Supposedly Atkins also used it for bacterial infection – but I’d watch for any fever or discharge from the wound. Get the wound open and bleeding and clean it out. You can also cut a vitamin A pill open and put the oil into the wound. Skin likes vitamin A.
    You can get vitamin A pills at 25,000 IU’s at a vitamin store.

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