5 Common Myths about Antibiotics Busted
Antibiotics are a type of medication that help you fight bacterial infections. They do this by stopping bacteria from spreading in your body, either by preventing their growth or destroying them. To kill the bacteria, antibiotics break the bacteria’s protective cell walls or hinder the cell walls from forming in the first place. Also, antibiotics prevent bacteria from replicating their DNA to stop their reproduction. The medication can make it more difficult for these microorganisms to multiply by interfering with their metabolism.
Whether you’re purchasing antibiotics in-store or from an online drugstore Philippines-based customers trust, you’ll need to present a doctor’s prescription. This ensures that the drug will be taken according to the prescribed amount, dosage, and length of treatment.
That said, there are often different misconceptions about antibiotics that can lead to misuse. If they’re taken the incorrect way, antibiotics can cause a variety of adverse drug events, including rashes, allergies, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomach, or yeast infections. To ensure that you use antibiotics safely, make sure to be aware of the myths surrounding them. You can start by taking note of these common myths about the medication and the truth behind them.
My Body Is Strong, So I Don’t Need to Take Antibiotics
Typically, your immune system can fight off the bacteria that enter your body before they even multiply or cause any symptoms. Your body has white blood cells that attack harmful bacteria and ward off infections. However, there are instances when excessive harmful bacteria become present in your body that your immune system can’t fight all of them. In such scenarios, taking antibiotics will be the best way to get better.
Since I Have a Viral Infection Like Cold or Flu, Taking Antibiotics Won’t Be Necessary
Indeed, antibiotics don’t improve the symptoms of the common cold and flu because they are caused by viruses and not bacteria, which is what antibiotics address.
However, you still need to deal with co-occurring infections or any complications that the viral infection may have produced—and both of these can include bacterial infections Your doctor can help diagnose your illness and recommend the best course of treatment.
For example, if you have a fever of higher than 38 degrees Celsius, if you continue to experience your symptoms longer than 10 days, or if you start to feel better only to suddenly get worse, these could be signs that you have a bacterial infection and would need to take antibiotics.
I Can Stop Taking Antibiotics When I Feel Better
Antibiotics work almost immediately and people would typically feel better after taking the medicine for one to three days. But even if you notice some improvements in your symptoms, it’s important to complete the course of antibiotic treatment. If you stop taking your antibiotics sooner than advised, the bacteria it’s combating may not be fully destroyed, and this can make you sick again. Also, whatever remaining bacteria in your body can mutate and develop a resistance to the drug, which can make the bacteria resistant to future treatments. To prevent the return of the infection, you must make sure to finish the entire course of treatment as directed by your doctor.
In contrast, extending the use of antibiotics beyond your doctor’s advice can lead to developing certain illnesses. For instance, prolonged use of some antibiotics can cause fungal infections of the mouth, digestive tract, and the vagina.
It’s Okay to Take Any Kind of Antibiotics
Unless it’s been prescribed to you, don’t take just any type of antibiotics. A doctor needs to diagnose your symptoms before they can give you a prescription for an antibiotic. They need to determine which symptoms lead to what illness and which side effects are caused by what medication. Doctors often put these factors into account to ensure they give you the proper medication with minimal collateral damage.
Depending on the bacterial infection you have, your doctor can either prescribe you a broad-spectrum antibiotic like amoxicillin or a narrow-spectrum one like penicillin. The former targets a wide range of bacteria while the latter only works on certain types of bacteria.
I Can Use the Same Antibiotics Next Time I Get Sick Since It Was Effective Before
Even if you’ve previously been treated for a bacterial infection, you can’t just self-medicate and take the same drug again. Remember, not all antibiotics are effective in stopping the growth of all bacteria. As such, the antibiotics you were previously prescribed may not work with the new illness you have.
While you may experience similar symptoms, the cause of your illness now could be different from before, so it’s possible that you could end up taking antibiotics when it’s unnecessary. If you do this, the drug might no longer work for you when you actually need it in the future. This will usually be the case when you develop an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection, which occurs when the bacteria’s genes change to protect themselves from specific antibiotics. Instead of self-diagnosing your symptoms, consult your doctor for a suitable treatment.
When administered properly, antibiotics can help save lives. But due to common myths circulating about antibiotics, many people tend to misuse them and risk developing secondary illnesses or experiencing adverse drug events. To ensure that you safely take this powerful medication, be cognizant of the information you come across. Also, it’s always best to consult your doctor when it comes to the correct way to take antibiotics so you can be certain you’ll get better rather than make your condition worse.