When should I take antibiotics? When should I take antibiotics?

When should I take antibiotics?

Before 22 July, 2016 Ana María López de Mesa

One thing that can be more harmful than not seeking medical advice when sick is to consult with a physician and disregard their recommendations upon the first signs of improvement.

Health professionals often prescribe antibiotics when patients consult with them for an infection. This is usually the case when the disease was caused by bacteria. Some bacteria affect us spontaneously and others, that were already living in our body, can simply worsen the disease.

The proper use of these powerful drugs can save lives, their function being to kill bacteria or prevent their reproduction. After taking them, a body’s natural defenses will be enough to fight off the disease. However, it is important to finish the treatment prescribed by the specialist to fight bacteria, even if you feel better before you’re done, explains the Medline Plus portal “if you stop taking antibiotics before the date recommended by the doctor, some bacteria can survive in your body and can re-infect it “.

Self-medication, another error

Antibiotics do not fight viral infections such as the flu, which can cause a cough or bronchitis, nor will it cure a sore throat. MedlinePlus recommends that patients carefully follow medical instructions before taking an antibiotic. If a virus (and not a bacterium) is the cause of a disease, taking antibiotics can cause more harm than good.

If taking unprescribed medications is dangerous, taking the medication prescribed to someone else can be even more damaging. Using antibiotics when it is not necessary can result in drug resistance, since bacteria can adapt and survive the effects of antibiotics.

There are affordable essential medicines on the market, such as amoxicillin, with which people often believe they have access to a cure firsthand. But remember that only a health professional can identify whether it is a bacterium or virus that was the underlying cause of the disease.