Antibiotics Prescribed Online

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Learn more about the side effects of antibiotics and how to choose antibiotics for common infections.

Geoffrey Rutledge, MD, PhD, FACMI
Cofounder and Chief Medical Officer, HealthTap

Get Antibiotics Online

Antibiotics are prescribed for many bacterial infections. Leaving a bacterial infection untreated can be painful and can have serious consequences. Bacteria can quickly spread from the infection site to other areas of the body when left untreated. HealthTap doctors are available 24/7 to diagnose and treat bacterial infections like UTI, sinusitis, cellulitis, and more.

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How to get antibiotics online

Antibiotics are not available over the counter, you must see a doctor to get a diagnosis of a bacterial infection and a prescription for an appropriate antibiotic. The good news is that if you have a medical condition that requires antibiotics, we can help! HealthTap doctors can conduct a virtual visit, order tests, and, if necessary, prescribe you antibiotics — all without you having to leave the comfort of your home.*
  1. Subscribe to HealthTap and save on virtual visits and prescriptions.
  2. Start an urgent care visit with a HealthTap doctor licensed in your state.
  3. Discuss your medical symptoms with your HealthTap doctor.
  4. If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic for you, we will send your prescription to the pharmacy of your choice.
  5. HealthTap shows the best prices in your area, saving our members an average of 69% on prescription medications.
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* Some tests may require you to make an in-person visit to one of our partner labs.

Antibiotics prescribed online

Antibiotics like amoxicillin are not available without first seeing a doctor; there are no over the counter antibiotics. However, you can see a HealthTap doctor online 24/7, and if your doctor diagnoses a bacterial infection, they will send your online prescription for an antibiotic to your pharmacy. The following are antibiotics commonly prescribed online for bacterial infections:

Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxatag)

Amoxicillin a penicillin derived antibiotic and is prescribed for a variety of bacterial infections such as UTI, tooth infections, chest infections (like pneumonia), ear infections in children.

Azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax, Z-pack)

Azithromycin is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria, such as respiratory infections, skin infections, ear infections, eye infections, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Amoxicillin/Clavulanate (Augmentin)

Amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium is a combination prescription antibiotic. Amoxicillin is a penicillin antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body. Clavulanate potassium is a beta-lactamase inhibitor that helps prevent certain bacteria from becoming resistant to amoxicillin.

Clindamycin (Cleocin)

Clindamycin is used to treat infections of the lungs, skin, blood, female reproductive organs, and internal organs. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of bacteria.

Cephalexin (Keflex)

Cefalexin belongs to a group of antibiotics called cephalosporins. It's used to treat bacterial infections, such as pneumonia and other chest infections, skin infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Proquin)

Ciprofloxacin belongs to a class of drugs called quinolone antibiotics. It is used to treat serious infections, or infections when other antibiotics have not worked.

Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim (Septra, Sulfatrim, Bactrim)

Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim is a combination of two antibiotics used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections (such as middle ear, urine, respiratory, and intestinal infections). It is also used to prevent and treat a certain type of pneumonia (pneumocystis-type).

Metronidazole (Flagyl)

Metronidazole is an antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections of the vagina, stomach, liver, skin, joints, brain and spinal cord, lungs, heart, or bloodstream. Metronidazole is also used to treat trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease caused by a parasite.

Levofloxacin (Levaquin)

Levofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. It works by blocking the chemicals bacteria need to reproduce and repair themselves. Levofloxacin treats a variety of bacterial infections and is also used to treat people who have been exposed to anthrax or certain types of plague.

Doxycycline (Avidoxy, Doryx, Vibramycin, ...)

Doxycycline is used to treat many different bacterial infections, such as acne, urinary tract infections, intestinal infections, respiratory infections, eye infections, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, periodontitis (gum disease), and others.

Bacterial infections commonly treated online

Our online doctors treat a wide range of bacterial infections every day: UTIs, ear infections, cellulitis (skin infections), staph infections, sinusitis, dental infections, certain sexually transmitted infections (STI), and more. HealthTap doctors are available 24/7 to evaluate your symptoms and prescribe antibiotics by video appointment.

Antibiotics do not work on viral infections. During online doctor visits for infections, doctors will review symptoms, history of exposure, risk factors and allergies to determine the cause of the infection. When the diagnosis is a bacterial infection, the HealthTap doctor may immediately prescribe an antibiotic, or may order a laboratory test on urine or blood to confirm the diagnosis. When your test results are complete, you may review your results online, and if needed, receive additional prescriptions from the online doctor.

HealthTap subscribers save up to 75% on their online antibiotic prescriptions.

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Common questions about antibiotics

How long do I need to take antibiotics for them to work?

Antibiotic treatment is generally for 1 to 2 weeks, though the duration of treatment depends on the type of infection. You should take antibiotics at the recommended dosage; even if you're feeling better, it is important to continue to take the antibiotics until they are gone.

How long does it take for antibiotics to start working?

Antibiotics start working right away, and symptoms may begin to subside as early as a few hours after the first dose. Consult with your doctor if your infection is getting worse, or if it does not start to get better within 2 days.

Do antibiotics have any side effects?

Antibiotics have minimal side-effects in general, the most common being upset stomach — taking antibiotics with food can help prevent this. Occasionally, an antibiotic may trigger an allergic reaction, so be sure to tell your doctor about any allergies you have. Your doctor will advise you of any unique side-effects of the specific antibiotic prescribed and how best to avoid them.

Should I be worried about antibiotic resistance?

Over time, bacteria may develop resistance to the antibiotic, which makes it less effective at eradicating an infection. Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic that they expect will be effective for your infection. Antibiotic resistance increases when the antibiotic is used too often, and when people do not take the antibiotic for the full duration of the prescription. It's important to continue taking the antibiotic for the complete duration of recommended treatment.

Can humans take antibiotics prescribed for animals?

Humans should not take any antibiotic, or any prescription medication, unless it is prescribed to them by a licensed medical professional. Antibiotics prescribed for or available for animals including fish and birds are not suitable for humans — they may be different formulations that were not tested on humans, and often come in higher and more dangerous dosages.

What topical antibiotics can you get over the counter?

The two most common topical antibiotics are Polysporin (bacitracin/polymyxin B) and Neosporin (neomycin/bacitracin/polymyxin B). These creams and ointments help prevent bacterial infections and are intended for use on cuts and superficial skin infections.

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Reviewed by:

Geoffrey Rutledge, MD, PhD, FACMI

Cofounder and Chief Medical Officer, HealthTap

Dr. Rutledge is a double-board certified physician who practiced and taught medicine for more than 25 years. He attended medical school at McGill University in Montreal, then completed residency training in Internal Medicine at UCSD, and was certified by the boards of Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine. He earned a PhD in medical computer science from Stanford, was an NIH-funded researcher, and served on clinical and teaching faculty at Harvard, Stanford, and UCSD medical schools. Before co-founding HealthTap, he created the first consumer health website and PHR at Healtheon/WebMD, was SVP of clinical transformation at First Consulting Group, CMIO at San Mateo Medical Center, and EVP, Product Development and Chief Medical Officer at Epocrates.