Antibiotics are medicines that your healthcare provider prescribes if you have any bacterial infection. You may have to take antibiotics from time to time because they are quite common. Moreover, you can get them, especially if your immunity is low. Infections occur when your immunity is low, and your immune system can not fight off it well.
When you take antibiotics, you may have some side effects. Sometimes they are bearable, but sometimes they are not easy to tolerate. If you are unable to tolerate any antibiotics due to side effects, you should tell your healthcare provider about it. They will change your medications and may prescribe another.
In this article, we will tell you essential things you need to know about antibiotic therapy. If you have any symptoms of infection, especially fever, you should visit the healthcare provider soon.
How Do Antibiotics Work?
Before we tell you anything else, you must know how antibiotics work. Nowadays, there are antibiotics of various types that have different mechanisms of action. However, they work by killing the bacteria. Your healthcare provider will prescribe it when they suspect that you have got a bacterial infection.
When Do You Need To Take Antibiotics?
Many people think they need to take an antibiotic whenever they feel sick. But this is not the case. Your healthcare provider will only prescribe it when you have a bacterial infection. Or they may also do that when you are at risk of developing a bacterial infection. It often happens when you have had recent surgery, or when your immunity is low because of chemotherapy or long-term immunosuppressant intake.
You need to take antibiotics if any of the following infections occur due to bacterial growth.
- Ear infection
- Sinus infections
- Dental infections
- Skin infections
- Meningitis- infection, and swelling of the brain and spinal cord
- Strep throat
- Urinary tract infections such as bladder and kidney infections
- Bacterial pneumonia
- Whooping cough
- Clostridium difficile infection
Often people think that if they are not feeling well, or have any symptoms of infections, they may need to complete an antibiotic course. But this is a wrong perception. When you have an infection due to a viral infestation, your healthcare provider will not prescribe antibiotics. It is because antibiotics are effective against bacteria only. They are not useful in viral infections and do not make any difference. However, if your immunity gets too low due to a viral infection, and you become susceptible to catching a bacterial infection, your healthcare provider may prescribe an antibiotic.
Moreover, when you undergo any surgery, your healthcare provider will prescribe antibiotics postoperatively to prevent wound infection. Often, especially when the weather is warm and humid, the wound becomes infected. For that, you need to take an antibiotic. Your healthcare provider prescribes the antibiotic postoperatively to make sure that your wound does not become infected.
What Are Broad And Narrow Spectrum Antibiotics?
Broad-spectrum antibiotics are those which are effective against various bacteria. And narrow-spectrum antibiotics are effective against only certain bacteria.
What Are The Side Effects Of Antibiotics?
Generally, antibiotics are well tolerated. But some people may not be able to tolerate it well. The common side effects of antibiotics are;
- Stomach ache
Sometimes you may be allergic to certain antibiotics. In this case, your healthcare provider will give you different antibiotics. If you are diagnosed as being allergic to a certain antibiotic, you must tell your healthcare provider whenever they are prescribing you any medication.
What Is Antibiotic Resistance?
Antibiotic resistance is a phenomenon when you do not take antibiotics properly, it results in resistance, not giving effective results. It happens when you do not complete your antibiotic course or do not take it in the appropriate doses.
Antibiotic resistance can make it even more difficult to treat the condition. Therefore make sure that you take your antibiotic medications as prescribed by your healthcare provider. If you can not tolerate any medicine, tell your healthcare provider about it.