Information on coronavirus

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Frequently Asked Questions


Can I drink alcohol whilst on antibiotics?



You should completely avoid alcohol while taking the antibiotics metronidazole or tinidazole, and for 48 hours afterwards, as this combination can cause very unpleasant side effects, such as:

  • feeling and being sick
  • stomach pain
  • hot flushes
  • headaches

It’s recommended that you don’t drink alcohol while taking antibiotics. However, as long as you drink in moderation, alcohol is unlikely to interact significantly with your medication.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist when you are given your prescription if you are unsure about whether or not you can drink alcohol while you are taking antibiotics. You can also phone NHS 111 for advice.


I've finished my course of antibiotics as instructed by my doctor but there are a few left in the pack. Why is this?



Antibiotics are used to treat different types of infections. A short or long course may be given depending on your infection. Usually, you should not have any leftover antibiotics if you complete the course as prescribed. However, if you do and have completed the course as instructed by your doctor, then you should discard the remainder. You can take the unwanted antibiotics to a pharmacy to be disposed of safely.


I have a UTI that keeps coming back. I normally keep a pack of antibiotics as I know what the problem is and how to treat it, and I don't think it's worth bothering the Dr about. Is this ok?



You should only use antibiotics when your doctor prescribes them. If your infection keeps coming back, it may be a sign that the antibiotics are not working. You should always see your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve, get worse or come back after treatment. Your doctor may need to give you a different antibiotic and advice on measures to help prevent the infection from coming back.

If you get frequent infections, there are some things you can try that may stop it coming back. These include:

  • staying well hydrated
  • avoiding perfumed bubble bath, soap or talcum powder around your genitals – use plain, unperfumed varieties, and have a shower rather than a bath
  • going to the toilet as soon as you need to pee and always emptying your bladder fully
  • wiping your bottom from front to back when you go to the toilet (for females)
  • wearing underwear made from cotton, rather than synthetic material such as nylon, and avoiding tight jeans and trousers
  • use of cranberry juices/tablets – these can be bought over the counter from a pharmacy or in supermarkets

If these measures don’t work and you think you may have a urine infection, please contact your doctor.

Seriously Sunderland FAQs with Consultant microbiologist Andrew Berrington:

Seriously Sunderland FAQs with Head of Medicines Ewan Maule

Seriously Sunderland FAQ's with Community Pharmacist Barrie Tudberry:

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