Healthcare provider explaining to patient how to get antibiotics quickly and safely

How to Get Antibiotics Quickly and Safely

Medically reviewed on March 7, 2024 by Jillian Foglesong Stabile, MD, FAAFP. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

Table of contents

If you’re struggling to get over a bacterial illness like tonsillitis, strep throat, a urinary tract infection, or an upper respiratory bacterial infection, you may be wondering how to get antibiotics quickly.

Luckily, today’s patients have multiple options for booking appointments with providers who can write prescriptions for antibiotics: urgent care centers, telehealth appointments, and online medical platforms are three of the most expedient resources for filling prescriptions quickly. However, patients should also consider how antibiotic use can impact their own health and the health of their communities—this guide is here to help.

Below, we’re breaking down three ways to get antibiotics quickly and offering tips for patients looking to treat a bacterial infection responsibly. Let’s dive in.

3 Options for Expedited Antibiotic Prescriptions

You generally have three options for getting an antibiotic prescription quickly and efficiently: visit an urgent care center, schedule a telehealth appointment with your primary care provider, or use a virtual care platform.

1. Urgent Care Centers

Urgent care options have skyrocketed following the COVID-19 pandemic: nearly 3,000 new urgent care centers opened between 2019 and 2022 in response to increased patient demand. [1] Additionally, if you’re looking for antibiotic medication quickly, an urgent care center offers numerous benefits like:

  • Same-day and walk-in appointment availability
  • Quick interactions with providers
  • Major insurance policy acceptance

But urgent care centers also feature a few key drawbacks to consider before making an appointment:

  • Long wait times – Since urgent care centers typically take same-day appointments and walk-in visits, you might spend ample time in the waiting room.
  • In-person care – While some urgent care clinics offer telehealth services, this isn’t the case for every clinic. In many cases, urgent care patients will have to meet with a healthcare provider face-to-face.
  • High cost – Especially if you live in a small town, your options for in-network urgent care clinics may be limited. This means you may have to pay out of pocket even for a quick visit.

2. Telehealth Appointments

If your primary care provider offers them, telehealth appointments are an excellent option for getting antibiotic medications quickly. How does telehealth work, exactly? This route offers two key benefits:

  • You’ll meet with your usual primary care provider (or someone on their team) who already knows your health history and lifestyle.
  • You’re unlikely to get hit with surprise costs (since your primary care provider likely accepts your insurance).

However, a telehealth appointment with your primary care provider isn’t always a perfect option for patients who need a visit ASAP: primary care providers can have limited availability, and their offices are typically closed on weekends and holidays.

3. Online Medical Platforms

Luckily, there’s a third option for patients looking to get antibiotics quickly: online healthcare platforms like Everlywell. These platforms make care more accessible than ever, and they offer the best of both urgent care clinics and telehealth appointments:

  • Availability – Many online healthcare platforms offer same-day or next-day appointments.
  • Virtual care – Online providers typically offer virtual visits: patients can get prescriptions from the comfort of their homes.
  • Personal connection – If you’ve used an online health service before, you may already have a connection with a provider; or the platform’s providers will have access to your health history.
  • Affordability – Many online medical platforms accept insurance, offer low-cost visit options, or use flexible payment plans. Simply put, there’s an option for every budget.

See related: How to Get Amoxicillin Without Seeing a Doctor in Person

Everlywell VCV offering

Considerations for Responsible Antibiotic Use

What should you consider before seeking a prescription for antibiotics, and what should you keep in mind as you complete your course? Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections. Here are some tips that can support your overall health outcomes.

Tips for Effective Antibiotic Treatment

As you complete your antibiotic treatment, remember to:

  • Use your medications exactly as directed to ensure efficacy.
  • Take your medications consistently—set reminders and alarms to avoid skipping a dose.
  • Combine your antibiotic with over-the-counter medications to help treat your symptoms—antibiotics won’t always reduce your symptoms immediately.
  • Take every single dose of your prescription, even if you start to feel better halfway through your course.
  • Incorporate a probiotic supplement (or probiotic foods like yogurt with live cultures) to support your gut health during antibiotic treatment.

These tips will help you make the most of your prescription and protect your health during treatment.

Preventing Antibiotic Resistance

Patients taking antibiotics too often risk developing antibiotic or antimicrobial resistance. [2] This means that first-line antibiotic medications won’t be as effective for treating some types of bacteria.

Antibiotic resistance is a crucial consideration for both:

  1. Individual patients – If you take antibiotics too often, you could later have trouble eradicating bacteria with common medications. This could lead to prolonged illness or fewer treatment options.
  2. Community health – When entire communities of patients develop antibiotic resistance, bacterial infections can spread more quickly and easily among local populations.

Talk to your provider about your risk of developing antibiotic resistance—they can help you make the best possible decision about your health.

Everlywell: Your Connection to Quality Telehealth Visits

If you’re looking to get antibiotics quickly, you have three high-quality options: an urgent care clinic in your area, a telehealth visit with your primary care provider, or a virtual visit with an online health platform like Everlywell.

At Everlywell, we offer you access to a community of providers passionate about patient empowerment. By connecting you with the resources and information you need to understand your own health, our providers can help you curate a treatment plan that works for you.

Schedule a virtual care visit today to get started.

How to Get Amoxicillin Without Seeing a Doctor in Person

How to Get Birth Control Refill Without Doctor Visit in Person

How to Get Ozempic® Without Doctor Visit in Person


  1. Urgent Care Industry White Paper. Urgent Care Association. August 2023. Medical Citation URL. Accessed January 16, 2024.
  2. About Antibiotic Resistance. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. October 5, 2022. Medical Citation URL. Accessed January 15, 2024.

Jillian Foglesong Stabile, MD, FAAFP is a board-certified Family Physician. Since completing her residency training in 2010, she’s been practicing full-scope family medicine in a rural setting. Dr. Foglesong Stabile’s practice includes caring for patients of all ages for preventative care as well as chronic disease management. She also provides prenatal care and delivers babies. Dr. Foglesong Stabile completed a teaching fellowship in 2020 and teaches the family medicine clerkship for one of her local medical schools. Dr. Foglesong Stabile’s favorite thing about family medicine is the variety of patients she sees in her clinical practice.
Everlywell makes lab testing easy and convenient with at-home collection and digital results in days. Learn More