Monday, June 27, 2011

Antibiotics - When do we need it?

Antibiotics are powerful drugs used to treat infections, including life-threatening infectious diseases. But antibiotics can be dangerous if not used correctly. You can protect yourself and family to know WHEN you should be using and not using antibiotics.
Antibiotics do not work against all infections. Antibiotics only work against infections caused by bacteria, fungi and some specific parasite. Antibiotics will not work against infections caused by viruses. Viruses cause diseases such as cough, colds, flu, cough and sore throat.

Antibiotics kill bacteria or stop the growth. However, some bacteria have become resistant to some types of antibiotics. This means that antibiotics are no longer able to work against the bacteria. Bacteria become resistant more quickly when antibiotics are used too often or not used properly (like not spending all antibiotics prescribed by a physician or use of antibiotics in viral infections).
Resistant bacteria can be combated with other antibiotics of different kind as the antibiotics used to combat bacteria that have not been resistant. Drugs of this type should be given by way of intravenous (through a vein) in hospital. However, some resistant bacteria can not be treated.
There are some tips you can do to help yourself and family in using antibiotics. Do not take antibiotics to cure all diseases. Do not use antibiotics for diseases caused by viruses, such as cough, colds and flu. Often, the best thing you can do is let colds and flu cough goes according to history and only relieve your symptoms. Because it's you body against the virus. Sometimes this may take 2 weeks or more. If your disease worse after two weeks, talk with your doctor. He can give advice to cope with your symptoms, as long as your body fight the virus.

How do I know when I need antibiotics?
The time when you need antibiotics depends on the cause of your infection. Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Cough and cold. The cause is a virus. Not be treated with antibiotics.
  • Cough or bronchitis. Most causes are viral. However, if you are having problems with the lungs or an illness lasts for a long time, maybe the cause is bacterial. Your doctor will decide whether or not to use antibiotics.
  • Sore throat. Most are caused by viruses and do not require antibiotics. However, strep throat is caused by bacteria. The doctor can determine if you suffer from strep throat and prescribed antibiotics.
  • Ear infections. There are several types of ear infections. Antibiotics are used for some but not all types of ear infections.
  • Sinus infection. Antibiotics are often used to treat sinus infections. However, a runny nose and yellow or green mucus does not mean you have to take antibiotics.
When doctors prescribe antibiotics, make sure you spend ALL of them, even when you feel better after a few days. This reduces the likelihood of resistance in bacteria is left in your body.
Do not use antibiotics without a prescription. If, for some reason, you have antibiotics left over from when you are sick before, do not use it except with the permission of your doctor. The antibiotics is not necessarily beneficial to the pain you suffered. Even if useful, could be a dose insufficient to kill all the bacteria in your body. Not only are you not getting better, but also increases the chance of bacteria in your body become resistant to antibiotics.
You can prevent infection by practicing cleanliness. Wash hands with soap and water, especially after using the restroom, come into contact with feces (e.g. from pets or changing diapers of a baby), after using the bathroom and before eating.


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