Antibiotics are powerful medicines that fight bacterial infections. When used properly, antibiotics can save lives. They either stop bacteria from reproducing or eradicate them. The natural defenses of the body can usually take over from there.
However, when not used properly, antibiotics can do more harm than good. Learn more about antibiotics by reading the article below and keep healthy!
What are antibiotics?
An antibiotic is a type of medication that does not affect viral infections, but is used to treat bacterial infections. Initially, an antimicrobial was a substance produced by one microorganism that selectively inhibits the growth of another. Synthetic medicines, usually chemically related to natural antibiotics, have since been delivered that accomplish comparable tasks.
Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses, such as colds, flu, most coughs, bronchitis, and sore throats unless caused by strep. Taking antibiotics may do more harm than good if a virus is making you sick.
Using antibiotics when you don’t need them, or not using them correctly, can add to antibiotic resistance. When bacteria change and become able to resist the effects of an antibiotic, resistance occurs.
It is essential to follow the directions carefully when taking antibiotics. Even though you seem cured already, it is still essential to finish your medication. Otherwise, some bacteria may survive and re-infect you if you stop treatment too soon. Do not use someone else’s prescription or save antibiotics for later.
Steps in taking Antibiotics:
More than half of all antibiotics prescribed are not necessary as estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Inappropriate and overuse of antibiotics can make bacteria develop resistance to them and make them not work when you need them. The bacteria will thrive and potentially cause more harm because of this resistance.
If you take antibiotics and do not need them, they may lose their strength and ability to treat the bacteria effectively. Educating yourself about the proper use of antibiotics is the most important way to reduce or prevent antibiotic resistance.
Here are the steps to take when consuming antibiotics:
1. Before receiving any antibiotics, you need to inform your physician of any allergies you have—such as a penicillin allergy. Moreover, women should inform their doctor if they are pregnant and they should also be aware that some antibiotics could make their birth control pills less effective or make them more susceptible to developing a yeast infection.
2. Be sure to take the entire amount of antibiotic prescribed according to the physician’s instructions. A recurrence of the bacterial infection may result from failure to comply. Know how and when to take your antibiotic.
3. Inquire about potential side effects with your pharmacist and immediately contact your physician if severe reactions occur. Do not take two doses if you miss the first dose.
4. Discuss with your pharmacist whether you should take antibiotics on an empty or full stomach because some foods and alcohol may interact badly with antibiotics.
5. Most antibiotics may be stored at room temperature in a dry place. However, some require refrigeration. Ultimately, always make sure that your antibiotics are appropriately stored.
Side Effects of Antibiotics:
Antibiotics are relatively safe with typically few side effects when used appropriately. However, side effects that can be especially intolerable are sometimes caused by some antibiotics.
An antibiotic side effect is defined as an unwanted reaction that occurs in addition to the desired therapeutic action of the antibiotic. The patient’s ability to tolerate and finish the course of medication may be affected by the side effects of antibiotics.
Common side effects with antibiotics include rashes, soft stools, diarrhea, upset stomach and fungal (yeast) infections like thrush. However you would need to contact your health care provider if you have any of the more serious side effects while taking an antibiotic.
Critical side effects of antibiotics include severe allergic reaction that results in difficulty breathing, facial swelling, severe watery or bloody diarrhea or stomach cramps, vaginal yeast infection with white discharge and severe itching and mouth sores or white patches in your mouth or on your tongue.
Antibiotics are useful drugs that can be easily purchased in pharmacies using cash, card or even antibiotic drug coupons. Antibiotics are generally good for us. However, with misconceptions and ignorance in the mix, it gives us more harm than good. On that note, proper use and understanding of antibiotics will truly benefit us.
Our ignorance causes most of the dangers we face. It helps to read more about daily necessities and essential medications to gain more knowledge and avoid misusing those that are supposed to relieve our ailments.