Antibiotics have been a revolutionary aspect of medicine since the late 1920s with the invention of penicillin. However, antibiotics, when used improperly, can have downsides. Antibiotics, also known as antibacterials, work to destroy the growth of bacteria. Today, there are numerous antibiotics available and even over-the-counter options. However, antibiotics aren’t the one-in-all solution when you’re sick. If you’re feeling sick and miserable, understanding how antibiotics work and when to use them can help remove any unnecessary side effects and help remove your infections completely.
Being Aware of Antibiotic Medications
Not all antibiotics can knock out your illness and help you feel better – that’s because antibiotics can only treat certain types of bacteria and won’t always work. Antibiotics work to kill off bacteria by aiding the immune system specifically. Normally, the immune system can detect and kill strains of bacteria with its white blood cells and can fight off the infection if symptoms are present. However, if the bacteria has spread to an uncontrollable degree, then the immune system can become compromised in fighting it off. Antibiotics work to kill these bacteria strains and work by interfering with the bacteria cell wall and its content to destroy it from the inside out.
But when don’t antibiotics work? Antibiotics have been heavily debated by medical professionals as being overused, according to sources from the CDC, and with higher uses of antibiotics comes bacterial resistance. Bacteria are always evolving, and because of this fact, if antibiotics are constantly used, then those bacteria strains will evolve to compensate for that resistance.
Tips To Follow When Taking Antibiotics
So, what should you do when taking antibiotics? We recommend these tips to help kill off any infection you may have and recover quickly:
- Follow Your Doctor’s Directions: If prescribed an antibiotic by your primary doctor, then take your medication according to the instructions provided to you. Even if your symptoms subside, taking the medication according to the days given will help completely remove the infection and help you feel better.
- Only Take When You Need It: Not all antibiotics will work. Some antibiotics can make your symptoms worse if you are unaware of what you’re taking. Because they are not the one fix solution, then the best place to go is to your doctor first.
- Be Aware of Its Side Effects: Some antibiotics will produce side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, and yeast infections. These side effects will normally subside after the medication use.
- Antibiotics Don’t Fight Viruses: Because these medications are antibacterial, they will not help fight viruses. In fact, it can make your reaction to the virus worse if taken.
- Stay Healthy and Clean: The best ways to avoid bacterial infections is to stay healthy and clean by washing your hands, getting vaccinated, and covering your coughs.
For more information about bacterial infections and antibiotics, speak with either your primary care doctor or urgent care doctor to learn more and treat your infection.