Antibiotics are medicines designed to fight bacterial infections. These powerful medications kill bacteria, prevent bacterial reproduction and save lives.
Penicillin, the first antibiotic, was discovered while conducting mold research in the 1920’s. At the time, a simple knee scrape on the playground could result in a fatal infection.
Antibiotics are not defensive against viral infection however, which includes most forms of bronchitis, colds, coughs and the flu. It is important to know when the use of an antibiotic will be effective: as the body does build up a certain resistance to many of these drugs, making the medication less impactful.
Popular antibiotics include:
- Azithromycin (Zithromax, Z-Pak)
Doctors will often prescribe antibiotics to treat infections such as: strep throat, long-lasting sinus infection, bladder infections and certain wound or skin infections.
There are many common side effects that accompany the use of antibiotic, such as rash, diarrhea, allergic reactions (itchiness) and infection. Doctors will often advise that you have a yogurt with the administration of an antibiotic to counter these effects; it’s often advised refrain from drinking alcohol. Alcohol can often elevate these side effects and slow the recovery process (but won’t decrease the effectiveness of the drug itself).
If you suspect a bacterial infection, it is important to visit a physician immediately. Bacterial infections should not be taken lightly and can be quite dangerous if not treated immediately. Continue taking the antibiotic as prescribed, and do not stop administration if symptoms heal. The bacteria may return should it not be treated entirely.