Antibiotics are one of the most useful medications that have changed the modern medical treatments since the first antibiotic (Penicillin) was invented in 1928. We use antibiotics when we develop a bacterial infection. However, there is a lot to know about antibiotics. Here are a few things that you need to know about Antibiotics (ยาแก้อักเสบ, which is the term in Thai).
1. Antibiotics are only useful for Bacterial Infection
Antibiotics are only effective against certain bacteria that cause bacterial infection. Here are a few bacterial infections that are treated using antibiotics.
- Strep Throat
- Bacterial Sinus and Ear Infections
- UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections)
2. Antibiotics do not affect Viral Infection
People tend to confuse between viral and bacterial infection and think they fall into the same category. However, they are completely different and need a different medication. If you have a viral infection, then antibiotics will not have any effect on it. However, you can cure the symptoms of viral infections like pain, nasal decongestant, etc. Some of the common viral infections include common cold, influenza, gastroenteritis, human papillomavirus (HPV), chicken pox, herpes, and shingles, etc. So these diseases cannot be treated using Antibiotics.
3. You should take Antibiotics as prescribed
If your doctor has prescribed you antibiotics for a week, but have cured your bacterial infection within 4 to 5 days, then don’t stop using antibiotics, complete the full course. Because you might think you have cured the bacterial infection, but antibiotics might have killed the symptoms causing bacteria and string bacteria may remain. Also, the stronger bacteria will adapt the resistance to the antibiotics turning into a superbug. Therefore next time your doctor prescribes the antibiotics make sure to complete the full course.
4. Using Antibiotics a lot creates Resistant Bacteria
Overusing antibiotics will create resistance to bacteria, and they will eventually turn into a superbug. They will adapt to the effect of antibiotic and develop the ability to resist them. These antibiotic-resistant strains are called as a superbug, and they can become rampant because superbugs require a new type of antibiotics that are still under discovery.
5. Antibiotics have several Side Effects
Side effects of antibiotics have common side effects ranging from mild to severe that include:-
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Yeast Infections
- Anaphylaxis (Allergic Reaction)
Severe side effects include mouth sore, severe diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
So these are a few important things you need to know about the antibiotics that will help you use antibiotics smartly the next time your doctor prescribes it.