Antibiotics are an important part of our lives because they can clear up bacterial infections and have you feeling better in no time at all. However, there are illnesses in which antibiotics have no effect whatsoever. It is important to known when antibiotics will work for you and when they will not.Health Issues which Antibiotics Cannot Treat
Viral infections are the main health issue in which antibiotics have no effect. This means your cold, runny nose, flu, sore throat and even most cases of bronchitis are not treatable by antibiotics. Viruses have to run its course and while you may feel miserable during this course, you are not setting yourself up for later antibiotic resistance by taking unneeded antibiotics.
Antibiotic resistance is becoming a real health issue all around the world because common infections and diseases are proving more and more stubborn with antibiotic treatment. The main culprit is that people are taking antibiotics even when there is no bacterial infection. That means later when you are suffering a real bacterial infection, your antibiotics may not work adequately to cure or treat the problem.
Bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics can be spread from person to person, so eventually family members, friends and other people will have the same problems with antibiotics not working properly as well. This can spell serious trouble for infants and the elderly in particular whose immune systems are not as strong as others.
What Not To Do When It Comes to Antibiotics
If you or a family member becomes ill and your doctor says it is a viral infection, do not demand antibiotics. More and more doctors will not prescribe them to pacify patients any longer due to the growing trend of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In addition, if you are prescribed antibiotics because of a bacterial infection, take the medication as prescribed.
When you do take antibiotics, you also want to ensure that you complete the entire course of antibiotics. Do not save any antibiotics for those “future” illnesses to try and save a visit to the doctor. Many times, doctors prescribe certain antibiotics for certain bacterial infections. Taking the wrong one could make your situation even worse. In addition, if you save antibiotics for a rainy day, that rainy day could occur after the expiration date.
Expired antibiotics perhaps won’t affect you adversely. However, some do degrade over time and can cause upset stomach or contribute to the antibiotic resistance. You also never want to take someone else’s antibiotics for the same reasons.
Because antibiotic resistance is becoming a real problem, do yourself and your family a favor. Always talk with your doctor regarding the best treatment options, especially when the infection is not bacterial. Viral infections cannot be cured and have to run their course, but doctors can suggest various treatments to make the symptoms more tolerable. All in all, become your own advocate and keep an open dialogue with your doctor and other medical professionals. You do not want to be one of the unfortunate people that antibiotics will not work on in the future.