Antibiotics are powerful medicines that fight bacterial infections. If used properly, antibiotics really can save lives. They keep bacteria from reproducing or just kill bacteria.
In modern medicine antibiotics are among the most frequently prescribed medications. Antibiotics cure disease by killing or injuring bacteria. The first invented antibiotic was penicillin, discovered accidentally from a mold culture.
For now, there are over 100 different antibiotics that are available to doctors to cure minor discomforts as well as dangerouse life-threatening infections.
You must know, that antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses, such as: influencia, colds, most coughs and bronchitis, sore throats, unless caused by strep.
If a virus is the reason of your sickness, taking antibiotics may do much more harm than good. Each time you take antibiotics, you increase the chances that bacteria in your body will be able to resist them. Later, you could get or spread an infection that those antibiotics just cannot cure.
When you take antibiotics, follow the directions carefully. It is important to finish your medicine even if you feel better. Do not save antibiotics for later or use someone else’s prescription.
Although antibiotics are useful in a wide variety of infections, it is important to realize that antibiotics only treat bacterial infections.
Although there are a number of different types of antibiotic they all work in one of two ways:
A) A bactericidal antibiotics kill the bacteria. Penicillin is a bactericidal. A bactericidal usually either interferes with the formation of the bacterium’s cell wall or its cell contents.
B) Antibiotics stop bacteria from multiplying.
Although there are well over 100 antibiotics, the majority come from only a few types of drugs. These are the main seven classes of antibiotics.
1)Aminoglycosides such as gentamicin (Garamycin) and tobramycin (Tobrex)
2)Sulfonamides such as co-trimoxazole (Bactrim) and trimethoprim (Proloprim)
3)Macrolides such as erythromycin (E-Mycin), clarithromycin (Biaxin), and azithromycin (Zithromax)
4)Penicillins such as penicillin and amoxicillin
5)Tetracyclines such as tetracycline (Sumycin, Panmycin) and doxycycline (Vibramycin)
6)Cephalosporins such as cephalexin (Keflex)
7)Fluoroquinolones such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin), and ofloxacin (Floxin)
Antibiotics Side Effects
Although antibiotics are generally considered pretty safe and well tolerated, they have been associated with a wide range of side effects.
Side effects are varied and can be very serious depending on the antibiotics used and the microbial organisms they are targeted at. The safety profiles of newer medications may not be as well established as those that have been in use for a long time. Adverse effects can range from fever and nausea to serious allergic reactions including photodermatitis. One of the more common side effects is diarrhea, which results from the antibiotic disrupting the normal balance of the intestinal flora. Other side effects can result from interaction with any other drugs.
Some of the more common side effects of antibiotics may include: Mild stomach upset, vomiting, severe watery diarrhea and abdominal cramps, vaginal itching or discharge, Soft stools or diarrhea, white patches on your tongue or allergic reaction (hives, shortness of breath, swelling of your lips, face, or tongue, fainting)
Also, you should know, that alcohol can interfere with the activity or metabolization of antibiotics. It may affect the activity of your liver enzymes, which can break down the antibiotics. Moreover, certain antibiotics, including metronidazole, ketoconazole, tinidazole, cephamandole, cefmenoxime, latamoxef, cefoperazone, and furazolidone, chemically react with alcohol. That may lead to serious side effects of antibiotics, which include severe nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath. Alcohol consumption while taking such antibiotics is therefore strictly not recommended.
Additionally, serum levels of erythromycin succinate or doxycycline may, in some circumstances, be significantly reduced by alcohol consumption.