The invention of penicillin changed medicine forever, and today, antibiotics are used constantly to treat various infections and diseases. Antibiotics work to destroy the growth of bacteria, and with the numerous options available for treating infections, antibiotics are often misused in cases where people feel sick and miserable. Antibiotics aren’t a complete solution to every time you’re sick, and understanding how antibiotics work can help remove any potential side effects and help you feel better quicker.
Understanding How Antibiotics Work
Not all antibiotics work to kill off your illness. Antibiotics only work to kill off certain types of bacteria and work to aid the immune system. Our immune systems work to detect and kill strains of bacteria through our white blood cells, and if detected, work to fight off that infection through those white blood cells. However, if the bacteria has been present long enough that it’s spread uncontrollably, then our immune systems can become compromised, causing us to become sick. Antibiotics work to kill off bacteria that have developed to uncontrollable degrees and aids the immune system in destroying the bacteria cell wall and making it disappear completely.
Antibiotics are a vital part of how we fight off diseases and infections each day, but there are moments when antibiotics won’t work. Overused antibiotics, according to the CDC, can help bacteria strains develop a resistance to the medication. Because bacteria is an ever-evolving organism, antibiotics that are used constantly won’t work against it. For medical professionals, prescribing medications for infections has to be used sparingly to help patients long-term improve their immune systems’ ability to combat disease.
What To Do When Taking Antibiotics
If you have any infection causing pain, inflammation, and muscle aches, your primary care doctor probably prescribed you medication. As a general rule, we recommend following your doctor’s advice for your medication, as well as these tips:
- Follow Medication Instructions: Only take your antibiotics when you need them, and according to the instructions provided by both your doctor and your pharmacy. Take your medication according to the days given, and complete the medication even when you feel better.
- Understand Its Side Effects: In some cases, you may experience some nasty side effects such as nausea and vomiting with your antibiotics. Understanding your side effects can help you control your symptoms better, and know that these side effects will disappear once you complete taking your medication.
- Antibiotics Work For Only Bacteria: Antibiotics are considered antibacterial, so infections and diseases caused by viruses will not be affected. In some cases, taking antibiotics can make your viral infection worse.
- Practice Healthy Living: Wash your hands, follow CDC guidelines for sanitation, and getting vaccinated is your best way to prevent spreading your infection to others and stay healthy.
If you have any signs of a bacteria infection, speak with your primary care doctor. If you have symptoms that have become more severe within the last few days, visit your urgent local center for treatment.