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When and when not to drink antibiotics
When and when not to drink antibiotics

You shouldn't run to the pharmacy after one sneeze.

When to drink antibiotics and when not
When to drink antibiotics and when not

What are antibiotics

These are the drugs that fight Antibiotics / U. S. National Library of Medicine with bacterial infections. They can kill germs or hinder their growth and reproduction. The first antibiotic, penicillin, was isolated from a mold by Alexander Fleming in 1928. And by the beginning of the 1940s, they learned how to use penicillin in practice.

Since then, many classes of antibiotics have been discovered and synthesized.

How do they differ from antiseptics and antimicrobial drugs?

Antimicrobials are a broader term that includes Antimicrobial Agents / Mayo Clinic for anything that kills bacteria. These can be bacteriophages, viruses that penetrate microbes, essential oils and various chemical compounds.

Antiseptics are drugs that destroy microorganisms on surfaces, for example, on the table, the skin of the hands. Usually, An Overview of Skin Antiseptics Used in Orthopedic Surgery Procedures / Medscape chlorhexidine, ethyl alcohol, iodine solutions are used for this.

Antibiotics act only on bacteria and inside the body, where antiseptics cannot reach.

How antibiotics work

The purpose of an antibiotic is to penetrate. How do antibiotics work? / American Academy of Pediatrics into the body, cling to the bacteria and either destroy it, or prevent it from multiplying: then it will die, and a new one will not appear.

For this, antibiotics find a target. Typically, this is a protein, enzyme, or part of the DNA of a bacterium. Acting on such a goal, the antibiotic breaks down the processes occurring in the microorganism.

Each drug has its own target and mechanism of action, therefore, different drugs are used for different pathogens. There are also broad spectrum antibiotics: they destroy many types of bacteria at once.

Why antibiotics kill bacteria but don't touch us

This is not entirely true. There are antibiotics that can harm a person, but for obvious reasons they are rarely used if there are no other options left.

As drugs, substances are chosen that target bacteria and do not touch our cells.

When to drink antibiotics

They are only effective if the infection you are suffering from is caused by bacteria. For example Antibiotics: Are you misusing them? / Mayo Clinic, influenza, bronchitis are caused by a virus. A common cold, too.

Therefore, flu and SARS are not treated with antibiotics.

Viruses attack not only the upper respiratory tract (that is, the nose and throat), but also the bronchi, lungs, intestines (rotavirus or enterovirus), mucous membranes of other organs, skin (herpes, chickenpox, measles) and even the brain (tick-borne encephalitis). In all these cases, antibiotics will be ineffective.

Why are antibiotics dangerous?

They have side effects. The most common:

  • nausea;
  • dizziness;
  • diarrhea;
  • bloating and indigestion;
  • abdominal pain;
  • loss of appetite.

This is a general list, but there are a lot of antibiotics, and each has its own characteristics of taking. For example, some groups of antimicrobial drugs are not allowed. Is it safe to take antibiotics during pregnancy? / Mayo Clinic for children and pregnant women. Some tablets need to be drunk three times a day, while others only one. Some antibiotics are taken before meals and not mixed with milk, some afterwards and mixed with anything. Therefore, be sure to read the instructions and consult your doctor before buying the drug.

Is it necessary to restore immunity and liver after antibiotics?

There is no need to take any special measures to save the body after the action of antibiotics. It is enough to lead a healthy lifestyle in order to recover from the illness, because of which I had to take medications. Neither immunomodulators (drugs to increase immunity) nor hepatoprotectors (drugs that protect the liver) have S. Wu, Y. Xia, X. Lv, S. Tang, Z. Yang, Y. Zhang, X. Wang, D. Hu, F. Liu, Y. Yuan, D. Tu, F. Sun, L. Zhou, S. Zhan. Preventive use of hepatoprotectors yields limited efficacy on the liver toxicity of anti-tuberculosis agents in a large cohort of Chinese patients / Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology of proven efficacy.

Can a bacterial infection go away without antibiotics?

Yes. If our immunity did not know how to cope with bacteria, humanity would lose the battle for survival. Many bacterial infections do not require antibiotic therapy if they are mild. For example, sinusitis, otitis media can disappear by themselves.

Antibiotics are needed if:

  • Without them, the infection will not go away and will become chronic.
  • Complications may develop.
  • Antibiotics will greatly speed up and facilitate recovery.
  • There is a chance of infecting others.

How to drink antibiotics properly

Strictly as prescribed by a doctor and according to instructions.

Need Antibiotics: Are you misusing them? / Mayo Clinic undergo tests to determine which microbe caused the disease and which antibiotic will be effective against it.

You cannot prescribe yourself an antibiotic on your own, because you can:

  • Make a mistake and confuse a bacterial infection with a viral one.
  • Buy an antibiotic that won't work with the very bacteria that attacked us.
  • Wrong dose calculation.

Is it true that bacteria are becoming antibiotic resistant?

Truth. Bacteria mutate, their new generations are no longer afraid of antibiotics.

These small and fairly simple organisms do not live long and change quickly, so Antibiotics: Are you misusing them? / Mayo Clinic adapt to new conditions for them.

The more antibiotics we use, the more inventive and stronger the microbes become.

In hospitals, for example, the most unkillable bacteria live, which have learned to survive after all treatments.

Is bacterial resistance to antibiotics dangerous?

Yes very. Already, doctors are faced with diseases caused by microbes that are resistant to all antibiotics. They are called superbugs. What are superbugs, and how can I protect myself from infection? / Mayo Clinic. For example, about 250,000 people die from drug-resistant tuberculosis each year.

How to take antibiotics and not make it worse

There are Antibiotics: Are you misusing them? / Mayo Clinic Six basic rules to follow:

  1. Do not treat viral diseases with antibiotics.
  2. Don't take over-the-counter antibiotics so you don't "train" the bacteria.
  3. Do not use antibiotics that you have left for later or received from another person.
  4. Do not quit treatment earlier than the appointed time. If you give up drugs as soon as it gets better, microbes, and the most persistent ones, can remain in the body.
  5. Observe the rules of hygiene. This will help avoid contamination by dangerous microbes.
  6. Vaccinate children. Vaccines, for example, can protect against whooping cough and diphtheria.

This article was posted on October 5, 2017. In August 2021, we updated the text.