How may times in your lifetime have you gone to your doctor and have been given a prescription for antibiotics? Didn’t you feel any hint of regret after seeing your doctor when you knew all along that you’d be advised to take antibiotics?
Don’t be, because antibiotics are drugs that you shouldn’t take just sitting down. Antibiotics are easily accessible but like any other drugs, taking antibiotics should be taken in strict compliance.
What are antibiotics? Antibiotics are a class of drugs that treat bacterial infections by stopping the growth of bacteria or terminating the bacteria directly. Antibiotics work in two different ways either by killing the bacteria or blocking its function. They only attack the bacterial population present in the body and causing the disease, they do not affect the cell of the body. When you feel like you’re coming down with an infection, don’t automatically reach for antibiotics. Bacteria causes the infection but not all infections are caused by bacteria. Here are some common conditions you might think you need antibiotics but most of the time don’t:
Colds and flu are caused by viruses. and they are be cured with antibiotics.
- Cough or bronchitis are most of the time caused by viruses, but if you have a problem with your lungs or if the illness that lasts longer than usual, your doctor might decide that you take antibiotics. If the illness lasts longer than usual, it may be caused or aggravated by bacteria.
- Most sore throats are caused by viruses and don’t need antibiotics but a strep throat (streptococcal sore throat- a type of infection that can stretch from the phayrnx, tonsils and possibly the larynx) is caused by bacteria. After a thorough excamination, your doctor may then prescribe antibiotics.
- Antibiotics can be used for for some (but not all) ear infections, depending on the type. This is again, best determined by your doctor.
- Antibiotics are often used to treat sinus infectionsbut a runny nose and yellow or green mucus do not necessarily mean you need an antibiotic.
Though antibiotics have been known to treat many types of infections, some antibacterials have been associated with a range of adverse of side effects which can range from mild to very serious depending on the antibiotics used, the microbial organisms targeted, and the individual patient. Adverse effects range from fever and nausea to major allergic reactions, including photodermatitis, anaphylaxia and diarrhea. Antibacterials may also lead to overgrowth of yeast species of Candida in the vulvo-vaginal area.Otherntibotics can also cause toxic psychosis. Additional side-effects can result from interaction with other drugs, such as elevated risk of tendon damage from administration of a quinolone antibiotic. recent studies also show evidence that indiscriminate use of antibiotics has been associated with chronic disease.
Why It’s Harmful to take antibitics when uprescribed or longer than usual
Taking antibiotics when unprescribed, is not only ineffective but also has a dangerous side effect: over time, this practice helps create bacteria that are difficult, if not completely impossible to treat.
Frequent and inappropriate use of antibiotics can cause to a phenomenon bacterial resistance or antibiotic resistance wherein a bacteria gets more difficult and longer to kill. Treating these resistant bacteria requires higher doses of medicine or stronger antibiotics. Among those that are becoming harder to treat are pneumococcal infections (which cause pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and meningitis), skin infections, and tuberculosis.
Antibiotic resistance, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has become one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.
As a rule, if your doctor has prescribed antibiotics as your medication, ensure that:
- You take all the preoscribed medication for the recommended length of time. Some may feel the need to stop taking the medicines because they start feeling better, but that’s because antibiotics tend to work fairly rapidly. Never stop taking the medication because you feel better. Taking the full prescribed course of antibiotics ensures that the infection and its cause are eradicated and won’t happen again.
- Never assume that someone else’s prescription may work for you. Your doctor prescribes antibiotics based on your individual medical history along with the type of bacteria that most likely caused the infection. Sharing any prescription medications is a dangerous practice and can even be deadly. Don’t save antibiotics to treat future infections.
- Antibiotics generally work rapidly. Don’t stop taking the meds once your start feeling better nor should you buy more medicine or take it longer than prescribed.
- Antibiotics can cause a number of side effects like Nausea, diarrhea, and other allergic reactions. Ask your doctor what kind of side effects you may experience with a particular antibiotic. Ensure that you tell your doctor if the side effects become severe or worrisome.
- Ask your doctor how the medicine should be taken -whether or not you should take the medication with food and if you should change your habits during the course of treatment (for example, avoiding direct sunlight, not drinking alcohol or eating certain foods).
Medicines are suppose to make you get well and should not do otherwsie.