Antibiotic resistance is becoming increasingly common due to the use of antibiotics as a means to get relief from diseases for which they are actually not effective.
Antibiotics are only suitable for treating certain infections caused by bacteria that can lead to serious diseases, or with patients that are at a high risk of getting infections. Using them to treat flu or viral symptoms will not only not make you feel better, this can actually cause side effects such as rashes, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea and fungal infections (candidiasis).
The National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) in the United States explains when it is appropriate to use these medications and when it is not.
The use of antibiotics is recommended for:
- Strep throat, caused by bacteria
- Whooping cough, caused by bacteria
- Urinary tract infections
Antibiotics may be needed in:
- Sinusitis that does not improve or worsens over time
- Middle ear infections
They are not indicated for:
- The common cold
- A sore throat (other than a streptococcus infection)
- The flu
When taking antibiotics, whether not you start to feel better, it is important to not stop treatment before the period of time indicated by your physician, as this can cause reinfection.