Antibiotics- 10 Important Questions You Should Ask!


Infections are one of the biggest factors in people becoming sick and visiting the hospitals. Infections can be of different types ranging from bacterial to viral and what not. Most common infections are bacterial infections. There is a need to treat these infections as soon as possible or these can even be lethal to the patient. Antibiotics are the medicines that are used to treat bacterial infections. These are the medicines that are given to any patient who suffers from a disease that is related to the bacteria.

If you are suffering from an infection, it is highly likely that your doctor will give you some antibiotics from so that you can heal faster. Here are a few questions that you should know about or ask your doctor before they prescribe you with an antibiotic.

  1. What are Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are the medicines that are used to treat bacterial infections. One of the first antibiotics that were developed was penicillin and after that, there came a huge increase in the development of different kinds of antibiotics. With time, the antibiotics have developed to be stronger and treat each disease completely. They can only fight bacterial infections and should not be used for other purposes such as viral infections and so on.

  1. How Do The Antibiotics Work?

Antibiotics have a lot of variety and they work in different ways. Each antibiotic has a different way to kill the bacteria. Some of them work by stopping the bacteria from reproducing. Some work by killing the existing bacteria or some has both these actions on the bacteria. The reason there are so many types of antibiotics is that the bacteria infect different parts of the body and an antibiotic should be sufficient enough to deal with the bacteria in different parts.

  1. What Diseases Do They Treat?

Antibiotics treat a variety of bacterial infections. They are helpful in treating the infections of the respiratory canal. They can effectively treat ear infections and even the urinary tract infections. The antibiotics are also used to treat stomach infections caused due to E.coli and other such bacteria that can easily infect humans. Antibiotics are also given to the patients who are undergoing any dental surgery and have heart-related problems. They are given as a precautionary measure to prevent infections.

  1. What are the types?

There are different types of antibiotics depending on a variety of factors. The first factor that is considered is the range of action. Some antibiotics are broad range and the other is a narrow range. This means that some antibiotics target only a small number of bacteria and the other target a huge number of bacteria in the body.

The other types of antibiotics are classified according to their composition and their action. Some antibiotics kill the bacteria, some stop them from reproducing and some do not let them develop at all. Each of these falls into different categories. Additionally, there are 5 other types of antibiotics that have been classified.

  1. What Side Effects Do They Cause?

The antibiotics are designed after a lot of research and experimentation. Hence there are very thin chances of them causing any kind of side effects in the users. However, there are times when the users might see some mild to severe side effects. In case of side effects, it is better to see the doctors immediately if they are causing hindrance in your day to day life. Additionally, if a mild side effect stays for over three days, it will need medical attention.

Some of the side effects of antibiotics are as follows:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Weakness
  • Muscle pain
  • Symptoms of liver or kidney diseases
  • Increased or decreased heartbeat

This is not the full list of side effects. There can be more. If you see any changes in your body after taking an antibiotic, contact your healthcare provider.

  1. Are There Any Drug Interactions?

Each drug causes drug interactions in the users if they are taken with other substances. This is the case with antibiotics as well. Antibiotics are known to cause very little drug interactions. However, some of the common ones are as follows:

  • They can interact with the birth control pills or other birth control methods and decrease their efficiency.
  • The antibiotics can also cause reactions when they are taken along with similar antibiotics.
  • They can also react with blood thinners, diabetes medicines and the medicines that are taken for lung and kidney diseases.

This is not the full list of interactions. You can consult your doctor to know more.

  1. Are There Any Allergic Reactions?

Yes, there are some allergic reactions to antibiotics. There are people who cannot take penicillin because of penicillin allergies. Additionally, these people can become allergic to other medicines that have similar structure and functions as penicillin.

Some of the side effects of allergic reactions are:

  • Swollen tongue
  • Scratchy throat
  • Puffy and watery eyes
  • Rashes and itchy skin.
  1. How to Take Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are available in different forms. These can be taken in the form of tablets, liquids or even injectables. For the oral antibiotics, you should take them once or twice a day with water before or after food. This is decided by your doctor depending on how the antibiotic will work best for your body.

  1. Should You Take Precautions?

The precautions are necessary while taking any medicine. While taking antibiotics, you should make sure that you inform your doctor about your history of diseases and allergies. Additionally, make sure that you also take the doses in proportion and not take two doses at one time. Furthermore, in case of any emergencies, make sure you call your doctor and get yourself tested.

  1. What Are The Best Available Antibiotics?

There are a variety of natural as well as manmade antibiotics available in the market. Some of the best picks are:

  • Penicillin and Amoxicillin
  • Keflex
  • Erythromycin
  • Zithromax

These are the 10 things that you should know about one of the most commonly used medicines that you might have to take at some point in your life.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here