Why can my cat get an antibiotic injection that lasts two weeks while we humans have to take pills several times every day? Anyone who has tried to give a cat a pill understands the appeal! (The injections are available for dogs too.) But the drawbacks are too significant for humans. First, all drugs have side effects. If a patient reacts badly to a long-acting drug, he or she is stuck with it. By contrast, a short-acting drug clears the system quickly. Second, a drug that lasts, say, two weeks at full strength doesn't simply disappear at that time. Instead, low levels stay in the system for a couple of months. This may foster antibiotic resistance.
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