Antibiotics are powerful medicines that fight against bacterial infections.
They are effective against the bacteria that may cause harm to the body parts, such as the ear, throat, lungs, heart, skin, and gastrointestinal tract.
A bacterial infection causes a rapid multiplication of harmful strains of bacteria inside the body that may make the human immune system weak.
Antibiotics work by killing the bacteria or making it hard for them to grow and multiply.
There are different ways to take Antibiotics:
- Orally (by mouth): This could be liquids, pills, or capsules
- Topically: You could put this on your skin, like a cream, spray, or ointment. It could also be ear drops, eye drops, or ointment for the eyes
- Through a needle: This is usually done for severe infections
The only way to get most Antibiotics is to get a prescription from your doctor. Some creams and ointments can be bought as over the counter antibiotics.
How do Antibiotics work?
Antibiotics treat bacterial infections by either killing the bacteria or stopping its growth and slowing it down.
They do this by:
- Attacking the wall surrounding bacteria
- Interfering with bacteria reproduction and multiplication
- Blocking protein production required for bacterial survival
How long do Antibiotics take to work?
Antibiotics start to work as soon as you take them. But it could take you 2 to 3 days to feel better.
How soon you feel better after taking Antibiotics can vary. It also depends on what kind of infection you are trying to treat.
Most Antibiotics need to be taken for 7 to 14 days. Your doctor will determine how long you should be on Antibiotics and what kind is best for you.
Even though you might be asymptomatic after a few days of treatment, you should still take all of the Antibiotics to get rid of the infection completely.
This can also help keep Antibiotics from becoming less effective. Don't stop taking your Antibiotics early unless your doctor tells you to.
Types of Antibiotics
Different types of Antibiotics are used to treat specific conditions.
Some of the most commonly used Antibiotics for ear infection, tooth infection, strep throat, skin, etc are as follow:
- Tetracyclines (Doxycycline)
- Macrolides (Azithromycin)
- Fluoroquinolones (Ofloxacin)
- Sulfonamides (Sulfacetamide)
How to take Antibiotics?
When you take Antibiotics, you should do so in a responsible way:
- Always pay close attention to the directions. Even if you feel better, don't stop taking your medicine
- If you stop taking them too soon, some bacteria may be able to live and cause you to get sick again
- Take it before meals to avoid cramps and pain
- Don't delay your dose of Antibiotics
- Don't let other people use your Antibiotic
Side effects of Antibiotics
Though Antibiotics are safe to use, they can still have side effects, so use them only when necessary.
Common side effects of Antibiotics.
Important points to remember
Before taking any Antibiotic, remember these important factors to minimize inappropriate use.
Antibiotics are only for bacterial infections
Don't use Antibiotics for infections like a cold, flu, cough, or sore throat.
Take Antibiotics as your doctor advises
If you take the wrong dose, skip doses, or take it for longer or shorter than the directions say, it could make you bacterial resistance.
Even if you feel better after a few days, you should talk to your doctor before stopping the medication.
Take the right Antibiotic
If you use the wrong Antibiotic for an infection, bacterial resistance could happen.
Your doctor or nurse will choose the Antibiotic that will work best for your type of infection.
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