Antibiotics are regarded by many as wonder drugs, with so many people relying too heavily on them. For centuries, antibiotics have revolutionized medicine and saved countless lives. Sadly enough, the reliance on antibiotics has grown, and sometimes they are prescribed to the patients even when not necessary. Even patients now begin to expect, and in some cases, demand that they are given antibiotics every time they get sick.
The truth is that antibiotics are not always the answer to certain medical concerns. When you visit an urgent care clinic or have an appointment with your doctor for flu, you may not be prescribed an antibiotic.
What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics or antimicrobials are chemicals specifically designed to prevent or kill certain types of infections, which can commonly be caused by certain factors, such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Antibiotics are designed to treat bacterial infections, such as E. coli infection.
Some diseases, however, like HIV, which causes AIDS, cannot be treated by any kind of medication ever created so far. Ironically, despite having the fly is a common complaint of many patients, no antibiotic can treat it.
What do antibiotics treat?
Despite being a wonder drug, antibiotics cannot cure everything. Although they can treat bacterial infections, they do not work well against viral infections. For this reason, when a patient comes to the clinic complaining about sinus pressure, flu, or cough, doctors will not prescribe any kind of antibiotic for them.
Examples of viral Infection:
- Sore throat
- Common cold
Examples of bacterial infection:
- Skin infections
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Strep throat
Taking antibiotics when not necessary, such as for common cold or flu, is not only ineffective but may come with some side effects as well. Also, excessively consuming antibiotics can actually be counterproductive because it increases the risk of developing resistant bacteria.
What are the side effects?
Antibiotics, when unnecessarily prescribed, can kill some bacteria that live in the large intestines, while others cause nausea. If you are taking other medications, antibiotics may also have an impact on the effectiveness of those other medications. Some patients may also develop allergic reactions to it. Over time, if you regularly take particular kinds of antibiotics, you may develop resistance to the medication, rendering it useless.
One certain type of antibiotic known as Azithromycin (more commonly known as a Z-Pak) can actually be potentially hazardous for those with pre-existing heart conditions since it can cause fatal arrhythmia. Amoxicillin, which is another kind of antibiotic, also carries certain risks when not consumed the right way.
Do not demand from your doctor to prescribe you with antibiotics. If your doctor prescribed you with an antibiotic, however, make sure that you clarify with your doctor whether or not you really need it. If you have any further questions, doctors are more than happy to explain why you need antibiotics for your medical condition.
Follow this important guideline on how to take your antibiotics:
Take them precisely as to how they are prescribed
Even if you feel better, do not stop taking the antibiotics, unless advised otherwise by your doctor
Do not share with family or friends
Do not use old prescriptions of antibiotics for new infections
Nobody likes being sick and ending up taking medications daily. When you visit Agile Urgent Care in New Jersey, you will be prescribed with the best way to alleviate your symptoms. Get in touch with us today!