Taking Antibiotics? Here’s What You Should Know!
Antibiotics are used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria such as whooping cough, strep throat, urinary infections, etc. But, out of ignorance and bad judgement, we may not use antibiotics in the right way which may lead to more complications and even antibiotic resistance. Wrong antibiotic usage can turn good bacteria into bad ones & trouble your health as a result. Hence, be careful while using antibiotics. Read on to know the right way to do the same.
No Self-medication please!
Never take antibiotics on your own, based on your own diagnosis or past history. Don’t pay heed to even your seemingly informed neighbourhood chemist when he advises you to do so!
Antibiotics must be taken only on Doctor’s prescription. Taking an antibiotic without consulting a doctor may cost you a huge amount of money as you may have to visit the hospital if diseases such as diarrhea, yeast infection and rashes attack you.
Complete the Course
Don’t drop out and complete the course!
You may start feeling better after a few doses of the prescribed antibiotics, but as some stronger bacteria may still remain, they can hurt your health.
Know when antibiotics are needed
Awareness about when antibiotics work or vice-versa can help you avoid their wrong use. Taking antibiotics to treat strep throat, whooping cough and urinary tract infection, etc. is ideal as these diseases are caused by bacteria. However, the common cold, sore throat and flu are caused by viruses, so you cannot treat these issues by having antibiotics.
Never use leftover or others’ antibiotics
If you feel sick, then you may feel the urge to have the same antibiotic that the doctor prescribed earlier or you may think of having other family member’s medicine. Beware, doing this can make you even sicker, cause side effects or delay in correct treatment. So, you should throw away leftover medicines safely ensuring children cannot reach them.
Antibiotics and Food / Alcohol
Certain foods may interfere with the absorption of antibiotics, and certain antibiotics must not be taken with food. Always ask your doctor whether you need to avoid any food with your prescribed medication. Also, certain antibiotics can cause highly adverse reactions when combined with alcohol. As a rule, do not have alcohol at all when on a course of antibiotics.
Water and Antibiotics
Antibiotics must be taken with a lot of water as it reduces their side effects and helps the body to absorb them better.
Inform about current medication
Certain supplements like iron may interfere with the absorption of some antibiotics. Always inform your doctor about the medication or supplements that you are already taking for a more effective treatment.
Antibiotics indeed save lives, but they cannot be your weapon to treat every problem. So, stop being a doctor yourself and take antibiotics only after consulting a qualified doctor to guard your health and avoid antibiotic resistance.