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					                        The Regional Nephrology System

                          Infections and Antibiotics

An infection is a result of bacteria invading a certain part of the body and
multiplying, resulting in overgrowth of that bacteria and subsequent symptoms.

Symptoms of an infection:
  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Fatigue.
  • Confusion.

Tell your doctor if you experience any of the above.


There are many different types of antibiotics that work against the various types
of bacteria.

Allergies and Antibiotics

   •   Many people may have experienced an allergy to antibiotics. Make sure
       you tell your doctor if you are allergic to any antibiotics.

   •   There is a difference between a true allergic reaction and a side effect
       from an antibiotic.

You may be experiencing an ALLERGIC reaction if you:

   •   Develop an all over body rash within 7 days of starting an antibiotic.
   •   Develop swelling of your lips, tongue and/or throat.
   •   Have difficulty breathing.

You may have an intolerance or side effect to the antibiotic if you have:
   • Stomach upset.
   • Diarrhea.
   • Nausea.
   • Vomiting.

Ask your nurse to contact the pharmacist
Contact them directly at (905) 576-8711 ext 6912                 Dec 2009

                                     Page 1 of 2
                        The Regional Nephrology System

If you have experienced an ALLERGIC reaction to an antibiotic, that drug
should not be prescribed for you again. However, if it was an adverse effect,
then the drug may be prescribed for you again. Sometimes the adverse effect
can be managed so that you are able to tolerate the drug. If the bacteria can only
be killed by the antibiotic that caused an adverse side effect then it may have to
be used again in order to save your life.

There are different ways in which antibiotics can be taken:

   •   By mouth as a tablet, capsule or suspension.
   •   Intravenously.
   •   Through the dialysis machine directly into your blood.
   •   If you are on peritoneal dialysis and have peritonitis (infection of the
       peritoneum), your nurse will teach you how to administer the antibiotic into
       the dialysate solution.

Timing of Oral Antibiotics

Many antibiotics are removed from the body through your kidneys or by dialysis.
The dose of these antibiotics may need to be adjusted in order to prevent an
excessive build up of the antibiotic in your body. Some antibiotics can interact
with other medications such as phosphate binders and iron. Therefore:

   •   If you are on dialysis ask your nurse to call the renal pharmacist to find out
       the best times to take your antibiotic.
   •   If you are not on dialysis then please contact the renal pharmacist directly
       to find out if the dose of your antibiotic is correct for your level of kidney
       function and when the best time is to take the medication.

General Information about Antibiotics

   •   To prevent an infection from coming back or an antibiotic from becoming
       ineffective because of bacterial resistance you should always take the
       antibiotic for the full duration that it was prescribed. (ie. 7, 10 or 14 days).
   •   Antibiotics should not be prescribed for viral infections. Do not expect to
       get a prescription for common colds.

Ask your nurse to contact the pharmacist
Contact them directly at (905) 576-8711 ext 6912                     Dec 2009

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