Can You Get Antibiotics Over The Counter In The US?

Types of antibiotics

Antibiotics are a group of drugs used to treat bacterial infections.

Bacteria are living microorganisms that enter the human body and begin to reproduce.

The effect of antibacterial therapy is to destroy the pathogen directly and slow down the reproduction of pathogens. In this regard, antibacterial drugs are divided into two main groups: bactericides (destroying the bacteria itself) and bacteriostats (inhibiting their growth).

In addition, antibiotics have a narrow and broad spectrum of action.

Narrow-spectrum drugs selectively kill the infection, while broad-spectrum drugs destroy most microorganisms, including those beneficial to humans.

The choice of which antibiotics to take for the treatment of various diseases should be decided by a physician. Do not take antibiotics or other medications without consulting your doctor.


Suppress the activity of enzymes involved in bacterial DNA formation, causing the infection to die. These drugs are available as tablets, injections, and eye drops. These types of antibiotics are usually prescribed for:

  • complicated ear infections;
  • sinusitis;
  • chronic bronchitis;
  • pneumonia;
  • cystitis;
  • chlamydia, etc.

Drugs in this group include:

  • Ciprofloxacin;
  • Ofloxacin;
  • Pefloxacin;
  • Norfloxacin.


A broad-spectrum agent that destroys most types of Gram-negative, aerobic and facultative bacteria. The active ingredient disrupts protein synthesis, resulting in the breakdown and death of the pathogen.

Aminoglycosides are poorly absorbed orally and thus usually prescribed as intravenous or intramuscular injections. Representatives of this group are:

  • Amikacin ;
  • Gentamicin;
  • Kanamycin;
  • Neomycin;
  • Plazomicin;
  • Streptomycin.

These drugs are usually used in combination with other antibiotics to treat these infectious diseases:

  • endocarditis;
  • Tuberculosis;
  • septicemia.


These antibiotics inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms but do not eradicate them. Therefore, the reproduction of the infection stops, and it gradually dies.

Tetracyclines have a broad spectrum of action. These drugs are not prescribed for children under eight, as they cause severe complications if taken for a long time.

Medications in this group can be prescribed as tablets and injections.

The medications include:

  • Doxycycline;
  • Minocycline;
  • Tetracycline;
  • Oxytetracycline.

Tetracyclines are prescribed to treat:

  • Borreliosis;
  • Syphilis;
  • pneumonia;
  • urogenital and intestinal infections.


Suppress and inhibit the reproduction of anaerobic and aerobic gram-positive bacteria. Drugs in this group are used to treat bronchopulmonary infections, tonsillitis, otitis media, scarlet fever and intestinal infections. Antibiotics in this group are:

  • Erythromycin;
  • Azithromycin;
  • Clarithromycin;
  • Spiramycin.



A group of antibiotics produced by the fungus Penicillium. Penicillins are active against most gram-positive bacteria as well as some gram-negative bacteria.

The drugs in this group are:

  • Amoxicillin ;
  • Augmentin;
  • Amoxiclav;


Ce sont des antibiotiques bêta-lactamines bactéricides qui perturbent la synthèse des protéines cellulaires. Il existe cinq générations de céphalosporines. Le principe actif pénètre bien dans la plupart des fluides corporels et a un effet bactéricide prononcé. Les céphalosporines sont utilisées pour les infections non compliquées de la peau et des tissus mous causées par des bactéries staphylococciques et streptococciques. Les médicaments de ce groupe sont :

  • Ceftriaxone;
  • Cefodox;
  • Cefix;
  • Cepefix.

Can I Buy Antibiotics Over The Counter in the USA?

No, you cannot buy antibiotics without a prescription in the US. You must first consult your doctor to obtain a prescription.

However, if you are in a hurry or do not have health insurance, you can buy antibiotics online without a prescription. Of course, purchasing a poor-quality product from an offshore pharmacy is risky.

Nevertheless, many people have already benefited from buying cheap antibiotics online without a prescription. If you find a trusted pharmacy, you can save a lot of money on cheap medications.

How To Get Antibiotics?

You can buy antibiotics in any local drugstore or order online in a licensed pharmacy. In the case of most antibiotics, you need to have a prescription from your doctor to get medications. However, you can buy topical antibiotics over the counter.

How To Get Antibiotics Without Seeing A Doctor?

It is impossible to get antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription if you live in the US, Canada, or EU. 

Many people like to use the Internet to find information on how to treat any disease. All this is fraught with danger. When you go to the doctor, he examines you. You take specific tests and undergo certain examinations. And when prescribing your treatment, the doctor weighs the pros and cons: whether there are indications, and contraindications, whether this drug combines with other medications you are taking, etc. 

Prolonged and uncontrolled use of drugs often causes drug intolerance or intoxication. Self-treatment leads to erasing the symptoms of the disease and turning it into a chronic illness, which is dangerous to health.

It is important to understand that antibiotics have certain indications. These are diseases explicitly caused by bacteria. And for example, colds more often start with a viral infection. For viruses, antibiotics have no effect at all, and sometimes they are contraindicated. They are only prescribed when a viral infection has become complicated. If you regularly fail to stick to the course of treatment, the resistance of microorganisms develops.

Of course, getting prescriptions is not always convenient and takes time. But you have to understand that uncontrolled use of medications does more harm than good.

Can I Take Antibiotics Without a Doctor’s Prescription?

Bacteria are organisms that do not live long. However, they multiply rapidly and mutate quickly, adapting to new living conditions. Microorganisms that have survived antibiotics become resistant to them. Their descendants also become invulnerable to a particular drug.

Antibiotic resistance is a common problem in modern humans, becoming the cause of serious complications. A person who has tried many antibiotics, i.e., has self-medicated, is likely to develop antibiotic resistance. These people often die before a specialist can select a drug effective against a particular pathogen. It is therefore vital to follow the doctor’s recommendations and take antibacterial agents strictly according to the individual regimen.

Be sure to tell your prescribing physician the following:

  • Have you ever had an antibiotic allergy, and if so, which ones?
  • Do you have liver and/or kidney disease? All antibiotics are eliminated from the body by the liver or kidneys. If these organs are not functioning properly, you may experience a dangerous medication overdose.
  • What medications were you taking before going to the doctor? Your doctor needs to know these questions when prescribing antibiotics because many medications cannot be taken simultaneously.

How Do Antibiotics Work?

Antibiotics are effective drugs that can help cure some infectious diseases. However, if misused, antibiotics can do more harm than good. You can protect yourself and your family by knowing when antibiotics are necessary and when they are not.

An antibiotic affects the bacterial cell by destroying the cell structure-the wall or nucleus. A virus, unlike a bacterium, has no cell, only a strand of DNA or RNA and a protein coat around it, so an antibiotic cannot affect it. An antibiotic is useless in treating viral diseases such as the flu.

Antibiotics do not affect viruses. Viruses are not living organisms because they cannot grow and reproduce on their own outside the host’s cells. Destroying them with a special agent without harming the infected person is impossible. There are certain antiviral drugs for the treatment of some viral diseases. Therefore, taking an antibiotic at the first signs of an acute respiratory infection or a cold on your own is useless and dangerous!

Antibiotic is prescribed when a bacterial one joins a viral infection.

How Long Does It Take For Antibiotics To Work?

The therapeutic effect of the antibiotic is evident within three days – if at the end of this period relief is not achieved, the doctor should replace this antibiotic with another drug.



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