Antibiotics are prescribed to individuals battling bacterial infections such as strep throat or urinary tract infections. Some infections can clear up on their own and don’t require antibiotics but when an infection can not heal on its own or an individual has an autoimmune disease, medication is essential.
Antibiotics can be life-saving but when overused or misused, they can be extremely dangerous. Therefore, it is important to know the dos and don’ts of antibiotics.
Let’s Jump right in.
Prepare For Side Effects
Antibiotics can be harsh on your body, making side effects such as yeast infections, nausea, diarrhea, and rashes common. If you experience discomfort while taking your antibiotic, talk to your doctor for a list of medications that can be taken simultaneously.
Start Your Prescription Right Away
Some infections spread quickly, and the longer you wait to start your antibiotics, the more dangerous the infection becomes. A seemingly simple infection in the ear or tooth is capable of spreading to the blood, resulting in sepsis, a life-threatening infection that kills 11 million each year.
Store Them Properly
Many antibiotics must be stored in the refrigerator or away from heat. To ensure your prescription does not spoil or lose effectiveness, check the label on the bottle for storage instructions.
Take Them at the Same Time Every Day
Whether your prescription is to be taken every six, twelve, or 24 hours, it is essential that they are taken at the same time every day. Overlapping doses can be dangerous because it puts too much of the medication in your system at once, and taking it late can give the infection a chance to spread.
Antibiotics can heighten a person’s sensitivity to light, making them more susceptible to sunburns. If you are taking antibiotics, be sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing while out.
Take Unless Prescribed
One should never take antibiotics if not prescribed; otherwise your body may build a resistance against the drugs, making it difficult or impossible to treat future infections.
The body builds antibiotic resistance fairly quickly; therefore, it is suggested that individuals only take less than nine daily doses each year.
Take For Viruses
Antibiotics are ineffective against viral infections such as Covid-19, HPV, Mononucleosis, and the common cold. Taking antibiotics for illnesses other than bacterial infections will do more harm than good by possibly worsening symptoms and making the drugs less effective in the future.
Stop Taking Them Early
Never stop taking your antibiotics early, even if you are feeling better.
Your doctor will carefully contemplate the dosage necessary to help you overcome your infection without overloading your immune system. Many people may begin to feel “cured” within the first few days of starting their prescription, but the infection may still be there. If you stop your medication early and the infection is still lingering, you may need another round of antibiotics which is dangerous.
Take With Other Medications
Some medications decrease the effectiveness of antibiotics and have the potential to give severe reactions when used simultaneously.
Whether you want to take a pain reliever, antacid or smoke cannabis, it is essential to consult your doctor before mixing medications.
Consuming alcohol while on antibiotics can not only decrease the effectiveness of the drug but also result in severe reactions such as organ damage and vomiting.
Alcohol also slows the healing process, limits sleep quality, and makes it harder to stay on track with taking your prescription on time.
Consult your doctor about how long you should wait before drinking; some prescriptions require a 42-hour wait period.
Take With Milk or Fruit Juice
It is often advised to take antibiotics with water and to avoid dairy products and certain fruit juices because these products interfere with the effectiveness of the prescription.
If you consume dairy, fruit, or citrus, your antibiotics will have a hard time absorbing properly. It is best to wait three hours after taking your antibiotics before consuming these products.
Antibiotics are sensitive and volatile drugs that are necessary for healing some bacterial infections. If antibiotics are misused, effectiveness decreases, your body may become resistant to the drug, and severe reactions can occur.
To ensure the health and safety of your body, take your antibiotics as prescribed, avoid alcohol, other medications, dairy, and fruit juice, and store them according to label instructions.