Usually, antibiotics start working right after they’re taken, but in some cases you may not feel better for two or three days (via Health line). Much of how quickly you see results depends on the specific infection you are looking to treat. However, it is important not to judge the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment by how you feel. Sometimes it’s tempting to think your antibiotic treatment is working, especially when you start to feel better. The World Health Organization emphasizes that feeling better or seeing an improvement in symptoms does not mean your infection is gone – people on antibiotics should only stop on the advice of a health expert.
The CDC notes that taking antibiotics when they are not needed can lead to many side effects. Therefore, it is crucial to only take antibiotics when (and how) your doctor prescribes them. Also, treating viral infections with antibiotics is not always effective. This can sometimes lead to antibiotic resistance, where bacteria don’t respond to antibiotics and continue to cause infection, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. In such situations, you can understand that waiting for the antibiotics to kick in can be a lost cause.