Important Things You Should Know About Antibiotics

If you or one of your family members have ever suffered from an ear, nose, or throat infection, you’re probably familiar with antibiotics. They are a common and effective type of medication which is primarily used for treating minor bacterial infections. In fact, almost every one of us takes antibiotics using a free pill reminder app at some point in our life.

Health specialists have a mixed opinion on whether the pros of antibiotics outweigh their cons but one thing they all agree with is that these medications should always be taken with caution.

To learn more about antibiotics, read on.

What Are the Most Commonly Used Antibiotics?

As mentioned earlier, antibiotics help stop minor bacterial infections. These medications either kill the infection causing bacteria or stop the reproduction of bad bacteria. While there are countless types of antibiotics, following 10 are the most common ones:

  • Amoxicillin
  • Clindamycin
  • Cephalexin
  • Azithromycin
  • Amoxicillin/Clavulanate
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Metronidazole
  • Levofloxacin
  • Doxycycline
  • Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim

Also, it is worth noting that each of these antibiotics only stop the specific spectrum of bacteria and treat only bacterial infections. For viral infections like cold or flu, you will be recommended other medications.

What Are the Common Side Effects of Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are relatively safe when used appropriately. However, like all medications, they may produce intolerable side effects when used without caution, weakening the patient’s ability to tolerate and complete the course of medication.

Here are some common side effects of these meds:

  • Rash
  • Soft stools, diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Facial swelling (lips, tongue, throat, face)
  • Mouth sores
  • Swelling of joints
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tendinitis
  • Muscle spasms

Keep in mind that these side effects can range from slight to severe and vary from patient to patient. Contact your specialist if any of these side effects appear while you are taking an antibiotic using medication management app.

What to Do When Experiencing A Side Effect?

In case you are experiencing a serious antibiotic side effect, immediately contact your healthcare specialist to discuss your symptoms. These are the likeliest solutions you will get:

  • Readjusting the dose
  • Switching to another antibiotic
  • Continuing the same antibiotic and managing the side effect

Generally, antibiotic medications should not be dropped without a specialist’s recommendation. Doing so may allow the infection to grow and become worse leading to antibiotic resistance which causes these medications to lose effect. Even if the infection looks to have gone before the medication is finished, it’s always a smart idea to complete the treatment unless your doctor advises against it.

What Are the Allergies Caused by Antibiotics?

Antibiotic allergies are some of the most common reactions of these medications. If not looked after properly these reactions may result in an emergency room visit or even hospitalization. In case your healthcare specialist is prescribing you an antibiotic, always tell him/her about your previous allergic reactions to antibiotics or other medications.

Similarly, antibiotic allergies range from mild to severe. While mild reactions may result in a mere skin rash the severe ones will definitely lead you to an emergency room if not given immediate medical attention.

Here are some of the most common antibiotic allergies:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fast heart rate
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness
  • Shock
  • Swelling of the face, lips or tongue

Try to get immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms after taking an antibiotic.

Are Antibiotics Safe for Children?

Antibiotics are equally safe for both adults and kids for treating bacterial infections. However, children are often mis-prescribed antibiotics for viral infections for which antibiotics have no effect as they only work for bacterial infections, not viral ones. In such cases, the kids are at an increased risk of developing antibiotic resistance, which could affect their treatment by these meds when they do get a bacterial infection.

Who Should Not Take Antibiotics?

While antibiotics are almost safe for everyone there are certain sets of people who should avoid these meds. Those sets include women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, individuals who have a weakened immune system, and those carrying liver or kidney diseases. These individuals should either completely avoid taking antibiotics or consult with specialists before using them.

What Are the Major Pros and Cons of Antibiotics?

For several years, antibiotics have effectively treated all kinds of bacterial infections. Undoubtedly, they are life savers. But there are some downsides of these meds as well. Here, we will take a look at major pros and cons of antibiotics.

Pros

  • When taken properly, antibiotics are extremely helpful for treating bacterial infections
  • Most antibiotics have almost no side effects
  • Antibiotics are generally affordable

Cons

  • Weakened gut health
  • Risk of allergies and side effects (if not prescribed or used properly)
  • Potential of developing antibiotics resistance among patients using these meds
  • Antibiotic allergies or side effects may lead to emergency room visits in children and adults

Do Antibiotics React with Other Medications?

A common question patients ask is whether antibiotics can negatively interact with other drugs. The truth is, antibiotics do have the ability to both reduce the effectiveness of other drugs and cause serious side effects when combined with other medications that you are taking with or without using free medication reminder app. These medications may range from birth control pills to antidepressants and vitamin supplements. Before getting prescribed, it always helps to tell your doctor know if you’re on other medications or supplements.

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