What Happens if You Double Dose Antibiotics

James Davis

Each medicine has its own treatment scheme that should be followed. At the same time, it’s quite easy to forget to take the pill. What to do in such a situation? Is it possible to double up on remedies, such as antibiotics? Let’s discuss the latter case with examples and consequences.

What are Antibiotics

Antibiotics are quite a big group of medicines that kill harmful microorganisms and thus treat various infections. There are several groups of these remedies according to their chemical nature and mechanism of action.

The first antibiotics that were introduced into practice were penicillin derivatives. For instance, Amoxil belongs to this group and is a semi-synthetic powerful medicine. Further on, based on this group, cephalosporin, tetracycline and many other remedies were created.

How they work

Each group of antibiosis has its own special mechanism of action. Thus, penicillin hinders the ability of bacteria cells to create a cell wall. Due to this effect, microorganisms stop developing and die.

Other remedies can block the synthesis of proteins or prevent the proper work of enzymatic systems. Different mechanisms of action prevent the formation of resistance. The latter happens as the bacteria strive to survive and can find a way to combat the effect of the medicine.

What Happens if You Double Dose Antibiotics?

Each antibiotic is always prescribed as a course that lasts from several days to weeks. It is crucial to follow the scheme as it provides the necessary concentration of the remedy in the body. In this case, it’ll be able to kill all bacteria.

No wonder, the question arises what to do if you miss a dose? It may seem logical to take a double one next time but this is not a very good decision. The following consequences explain why it is better to avoid this.

Increased risk of side effects

When you double up an antibiotic, this may lead to the occurrence of side effects. This happens due to the larger concentration of the active ingredient in the body. Thus, nausea and vomiting, headache or skin rash may appear.

At the same time, this will not bring the double efficiency. The main thing in this type of treatment is to keep the concentration of a remedy constant. And when you miss a dose and then double it, the concentration of the active ingredient changes sharply and this is not what is required to get better.

Gastrointestinal distress

The most common side effects of doubling or overdosing on antibiotics include various gastrointestinal issues. This can be nausea, vomiting and diarrhea or changes in the taste and appetite.

Antibiotic resistance

While bacteria still stay in the body and encounter a lower dose of the antibiotic, they can take this time to become resistant to it. This often happens due to a low concentration as a result of a missed dose or an early end of the treatment.

Further on, resistant bacteria will not react to this antibiotic and another remedy will be required to solve the problem.


At last, some toxic side effects and severe allergic reactions may occur as a response of the body to a higher dose of an antibiotic. In some cases, this may lead to severe damage to the liver or kidneys and other unpleasant health consequences.

How to Properly Take Antibiotics

For this, one should consult a doctor and a pharmacist and read an instruction. Each remedy of this group has its own rules concerning the daytime, food and drinks and other important factors.

Thus, check all the details in advance and make sure that you know when and how to take a pill. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for a few days or weeks. During this period, stick to the schedule of the intake and this will help to eliminate infection effectively and quickly.

Tips to Avoid Double Dosing

If you are worried about this prescription, the following tips help to avoid missing a dose.

Reminders or Alerts

One easy and convenient way to take a pill in time is to set an alert or reminder on your phone or other gadget. Such alerts can be planned beforehand. Thus, one may put them for the appropriate time for the whole course and get a quick reminder whenever the time comes for the intake of the remedy.

This method requires only a gadget that is always with you, and in most cases, a mobile phone is enough to set such alerts.

Track doses on a calendar

In addition, one can use a traditional or any online calendar to set reminders with doses and times of their intake. This depends on your preferences. Some like to write the time in the calendar by hand, others readily refer to the Google service. The latter can also provide the user with a reminder.


Furthermore, do not hesitate to ask for help from your family members or friends. Someone can administer and check your doses if you are not sure about your own ability to do this. This person should be in contact with you for time reminders.


Altogether, antibiotics require a careful attitude. These remedies are quite powerful and may bring undesired side effects if used in the wrong way. Always consult a specialist on the doses and duration of treatment and follow the recommended scheme.

However, if a dose was missed, do not double the following one. Process with the previous scheme and add one more dose after the planned last one.


Can you over dose on antibiotics?

Yes, if you take a double dose or more, this is an overdose. It may be accompanied by different side and toxic effects.

What to do if you miss amoxicillin dose?

Do not double the following. Process with the recommended scheme and inform your doctor. In most cases, you’ll need an additional dose later.

Can you double up on amoxicillin?

No, this remedy should be taken according to the prescription. Do not double doses to avoid adverse effects.