An antibiotic can be defined as a drug that kills or prevents the growth of bacteria. Ever since they were invented early in the last century, antibiotics have earned the reputation of being wonderful, life-saving tools. They can be used for ear, bladder and some throat infections, particularly strep throat. But in case of flues, colds, etc., antibiotics won’t be effective at all.
40 percent of the time, children leave their pediatrician’s office with a prescription for antibiotics. Their overuse, however, is dangerous.
When using antibiotics, it is important to remember:
- They are not effective against viruses or fungal infections.
- The routine use of antibiotics can worsen conditions for children.
- There are side effects to antibiotics which may include allergic reactions, diarrhea, rashes, and vomiting.
- It is advisable to withhold the use of antibiotics unless they are clearly needed. Your doctor usually knows best, but since some parents literally demand antibiotics, they may offer them too readily. Make sure you understand what any drug or antibiotic can and cannot do.
- Antibiotics should not be given for the common cold.
- Antibiotics should not be administered in case of sore throats. Or there should at least be a positive test for Strep or another bacterial infections before doing so.
The world is now seeing the emergence of serious bacteria which are resistant to antibiotics. This is the biggest concern about antibiotic abuse for the medical community.
Disclaimer: The above information is commonsense reflection drawn from general experience. If you are looking for expert medical advice, please consult your doctor.