Today there are so many rumors about treatment by means of antibiotics. Someone fears like the plague believing that use of antibiotics can easily destroy entire body, someone on the contrary, with every sneeze takes antibiotics for security. Of course, every medal has its reverse and it doesn’t lead you to something positive. But how is it right and appropriate to use antibiotics not to hurt yourself?
It should be understood that antibiotic is potent drug, despite the fact that it is sold in any drugstore without recipes and any questions. To be treated with antibiotics strict indications should be given and treatment should be preferably under doctor’s supervision, then treatment will be really effective and safe. In other cases, it is fraught with troubles.
What is Antibiotic?
Antibiotic – a substance that can block development or cause death of certain microorganisms. From this definition we are tempting to conclude that antibiotic is poison aimed at destroying bacteria. And we cannot argue about it, because we really “poison” bacteria inside your body, as for example, cockroaches or mice do that infest the house.
Are antibiotics harmful to people? After all, what kills one body, may well harm both at one and the same time. In fact, we are very different from bacteria, so substances fatal to them, are absolutely harmless or their toxicity is very, very low to us. This property is called the principle of antibiotics selectivity.
Most modern antibiotics affect only certain microbes’ structures that have no counterparts in human body. But even with such a selectivity, a certain danger to humans is still present, but it is generally not comparable with danger posed by disease. Although situation where antibiotics’ use is contraindicated for example, pregnancy.
When Is It Necessary to Use Antibiotics?
Canadian Health and Care Mall points out that antibiotic – a means of combating bacteria. Therefore, indication for their use is presence of pathological process in organism caused by bacteria. In extremely rare cases, and on doctor’s advice antibiotics can be used prophylactically.
Before to prescribe antibiotics, you must make sure that disease is caused by bacteria, and not by other microorganisms. Most often, it helps define it by means of normal clinical blood analysis, if bacteria presence number of white blood cells increases. But sometimes it is not necessary to determine only presence of bacteria, but specific form for more precise selection of antibiotic and more effective treatment. Then usually culture is held that allow bacteria to grow on digest medium, and to determine their strain.
Usually antibiotics are taken for bacterial pneumonia treatment, infections of genitourinary system, skin purulent inflammation and sexually transmitted infections. But many people practice antibiotics for any cold, what is fundamentally wrong. Most cold implies ARVI, and they caused by viruses, which antibiotics do not perform in any way.
In this case normal microflora of body may be affected, which will significantly reduce its defenses. Another issue is that viral infection is often joined by bacterial, but it is manifested only after 3 days if there is no improvement or deterioration. Then it is desirable to undergo CBC, and it will help make decision whether taking antibiotics or not.
Many doctors recommend antibiotics use, without relying on analyzes, and from my own experience. Of course, to deny the fact that over time doctor can learn to identify presence of “rule of thumb” bacterial infection is difficult, but it is better to insist on analysis.
When Antibiotics are not Necessary
Most of our compatriots are ardent fans of self-treatment. At the same time, they just can not explain what an antibiotic is, and believe that it is just strong medicine for all occasions. That is why they often prescribe antibiotics by themselves when here is absolutely no necessity to do not. The most common situations are:
- treatment of high temperature;
- prophylactic administration.
Increased body temperature is versatile defensive reaction, it can be caused by viral or bacterial infection, autoimmune process, swelling and even simple exhaustion. Therefore, antibiotic should not be currently prescribed in case of temperature rises, likelihood is that this bacterial infection, is sensitive to the drug, but the list of side effects of most drugs is rather enormous. At higher temperatures it is possible to decrease by means of antipyretic drugs, but not by antibiotics.
As we have said already, it is pointless and dangerous to use antibiotics for acute respiratory viral infections treatment. Take them for prevention is impractical in most cases. Nobody sprays poison around the house against cockroaches, if they are not present at home. Of course, it is pointless and dangerous to inhabitants. Why, then, prophylactic antibiotic is less dangerous? Prophylactic antibiotic administration may be accepted if there is real possibility of contracting serious disease, such as cholera or malignant anthrax, which are sometimes recommended before surgery and after it. But only if it is indicated and carried out under medical supervision, and self-administration of an antibiotic “just in case” is excluded.
How to Choose Right Medication and Dosage
Selection of optimal variant of antibiotic – task of physician. Ideally, of course, hold special microbiological analysis that will identify causative agent of disease and to choose antibiotic that exactly will work, but they do such analysis for a long time, about 7-10 days. It is groundless to wait for so long, and do nothing to treat patient, therefore, antibiotic is assigned based on clinical picture.
Modern medicine has recommendation in case of all diseases’ treatment. There are the first line drugs, which are assigned first, for bacterial sinusitis treatment. There are also alternative drugs that are used, if there is no ineffectiveness or tolerance to first-line drugs. There is also reserve of antibiotics, which are used in complex situations, when other drugs do not help.
Dosage is also determined by your doctor. If you feel improvement after day or two days of treatment, in any case you can not reduce drug’s dosage, as in a lower dose, it will not destroy bacteria, but allow them to develop resistance. What does not kill bacteria, making them stronger and next time in treatment with antibiotics, it will not show proper efficiency. And drug dosage can not be increased because of possible toxic effects produced on liver.
It is also determined by physician treatment duration and it is impossible to break it. Early completion as early dose reduction are fraught with formation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In this case disease itself may become chronic or produces complications.
How to Prevent Unpleasant Consequences when Taking Antibiotics
Antibiotic is not candy, but potent medication that can cause very serious consequences. There may be observed most common allergic reactions as well as problems with gastrointestinal tract, kidneys and liver. A frequent side effect is intestinal disbacteriosis. Less common side effects are neurological disorders. Information for patients, most of unpleasant consequences occurs not because of the fact that drug is ineffective or doctor makes something wrong, but because patient does not behave correctly.
To avoid most of side effects, follow doctor’s recommendations and instructions in antibiotics application quite clearly. If preparation causes allergic reactions there is an urgent need to withdraw and look for other means. For treatment of disbacteriosis it is often recommended to take probiotics. But in fact it is not necessary in most cases just eat normally and everything will vanish after some time.
- You should not sunbathe while taking tetracycline and 2 weeks after the end of the course;
- It is impossible to dye or curl hair during and after taking antibiotics;
- Tetracyclines, penicillins, and rifampin reduce effectiveness of oral contraceptives;
- Drugs, thinning blood, should not be taken simultaneously with penicillin and cephalosporin to avoid bleeding.
If you take appropriate antibiotic and follow all the rules, harm will be minimal after antibiotics application, and treatment will be quick and easy.