Antibiotics treat infections. They are among the often prescribed medications in modern medicine. Sometimes they are called antibacterials. When you suffer from an illness caused by bacteria or certain parasites the doctor is giving you an antibiotic. But it is important to know if the illness is caused by bacteria or a virus. They are not effective against viruses.
Penicillin is the first antibiotic
Today, there are different types of modern antibiotics and you can get them only with a doctor’s prescription. Some people say that antibiotics are being overused. First, it is important to know how to take antibiotics correctly. Read the label; ask the pharmacist how many pills to take and how often, ask about the dose and the schedule, and common side effects. Also, ask if you need to take them with milk or water. Different medications should be stored at a certain temperature. Many need to be refrigerated, for example amoxicillin for children. Others are best left at room temperature such as Biaxin.
Some people are allergic to certain types of antibiotics; consequently you should ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking the medicine. You must also know that if an antibiotic is used for too long, than a bacteria will emerge that cannot be killed by that antibiotic.
Antibiotics can be classified into six groups.
Penicillin is well known and often used in modern medicine. The types of penicillin are amoxicillin, flucloxacillin, phenoxymethylpenicillin and ampicillin. Penicillin is widely used to treat throat infections, meningitis, skin infections, syphilis, urinary tract infections and various other infections. Sometimes it gives an allergic reaction.
Is an antibiotic that kills a broad-spectrum of bacteria and prevents their growth. Cephalosporin is used to treat blood infection, pneumonia, meningitis. It is important to know that if you are allergic to penicillin, you may also be allergic to cephalosporin.
Tetracycline can be used to treat a wide range of infections such as severe acne and a condition called rosacea, which causes flushing of the skin and spots. This antibiotic stops the growth of bacteria and it is used when the mass of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. That is why this drug must be taken at evenly intervals.
Aminoglycoside is used only to treat very serious illnesses such as meningitis. The drug breaks down quickly inside the digestive system so it should be injected or given as ear or eye drops. It is also used for prophylaxis reasons, especially against endocarditis.
It can be useful in treating lung and chest infections, for people with allergies to penicillin or to treat penicillin-resistant strains of bacteria. Macrolides include: erythromycin and spiramycin. They are well tolerated. In the U.S. there are currently available: erythromycin, clarithromycin, azithromycin and telithromycin.
Fluoroquinolones are the newest type of antibiotic (ciprofloxacin or norfloxacin). The fluoroquinolones are a group of synthetic broad-spectrum antibiotics, which eradicate bacteria by interfering with DNA replication.
Antibiotic resistance is a significant public problem
Doctors say if it is used too often, it becomes less effective. Also, when not taking the antibiotics exactly as prescribed, it could lead to problems. One of the consequences is the increased costs associated with prolonged illnesses.
Even if you have had an allergic reaction, you will usually be able to choose a type of tolerable antibiotic. Experts say that once we’re going to have to learn to live without them. The era of antibiotics is coming to a close.
Every day about 190 million doses of antibiotics are taken. Bacteria are evolving and one day they become resistant to antibiotics and make them useless. The bacteria pass on these genes to their offspring and the drugs are no longer effective. Without antibiotics, bacterial infections won’t be able to be treated. Ultimately we will die from infections. Still you must not take antibiotics if not sure that you suffer from a bacterial illness.
The antibiotics are a scientific miracle, but overusing them leads to their infectiveness.