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The Dos and Don’ts of Taking Antibiotics

The Dos and Don’ts of Taking Antibiotics

The Dos and Don’ts of Taking Antibiotics

So the change in weather has triggered yet another bacterial infection. No worries, antibiotics are here to your rescue! This most frequently prescribed medication in allopathic medicine, antibiotics, either kill bacteria or restrict their multiplication.

The first antibiotic, Penicillin, was discovered quite accidentally by well-known scientist Sir Alexander Fleming in 1928. And today, after 80+ years, antibiotics, when used properly, can cure life threatening disease like TB and milder ailments like fever (if caused by bacteria).

 The Dos and Don’ts of Taking Antibiotics

If you’re popping an antibiotic, here are some strict dos and don’ts. Follow them to the T to get well soon:

  • Do as told.
    It is imperative to take your antibiotic in the right doses, as prescribed by your doctor. Some medications are required to be taken after food, while some others are to be taken on an empty stomach. Do as told, for the medication to work well.
  • Store them right!
    It is important to store your medication at the right temperature, or the composition might be affected.
  • Do not take antibiotics for common cold.
    There are many misconceptions surrounding antibiotics. One of the common myths supports the use of antibiotics for viral conditions like common cold, flu, sore throat; or even fungal infections likeringworm. If this is done, treatment will backfire and worsen the ailment.
  • Do not self-medicate.
    Self-diagnosing and taking an antibiotic can be very risky. The cause of the infection, dosage, side-effects, allergies etc. — all need to be factored — before taking antibiotics. Among the varied kinds of antibiotics available – each for a specific class of bacteria — choosing the right one is very crucial.  Let the doctor do his/her work. Often, information that you have may not be enough. So, consult your doctor.
  • NEVER skip doses…
    Antibiotics have to be taken at regular intervals for the time period they have been prescribed to effectively destroy the infection, and the bacteria causing it. Worse, if you skip doses, the bacteria might develop resistance to the drug. It also makes infections harder to treat in the future.

Watch out! Side effects of antibiotics!

Many antibiotics have side-effects. So be alert! Some common side-effects include:

  • Stomach upset, very watery diarrhoea, abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • White patches on tongue
  • Itching in the vaginal area or discharge
  • Allergies like swelling of lips, face or tongue
  • Hive formation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting

Rush to your doctor in case you experience any of the above. It is always good to discuss any allergies you might have with your doctor before he prescribes any medication. A wrong antibiotic may end up doing more harm than good.

 

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