Categories: Drugs

Side effects of antibiotics

Discover the side effects of antibiotics.

Indiscriminate use of antibiotics can make them less effective. Likewise, it is possible to present some type of side effect, since they disturb the internal balance of the body.

All leaflets have a section that indicates the side effects of antibiotics or ‘contraindications’. However, it is true that many times, people do not pay attention to them and simply do not read them.

However, it is important to take the time to do so to avoid inconveniences and review the doctor’s instructions, in case we have half-forgotten.

Antibiotics are drugs that are usually quite strong (hence their effectiveness), so they should only be taken with a prescription and in the amounts indicated by the doctor. Its side effects are varied and, for that reason, you have to be careful and avoid them.

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How do antibiotics work?

Antibiotics treat infections caused by bacteria and not those caused by viruses. Because of this, doctors don’t always prescribe antibiotics when you have an infection.

Now, antibiotics are effective for a certain type of bacteria, but not for all. For this reason, you cannot consume either if your stomach, throat, or ears hurt.

The ‘classic’ bacterial infections are:

Bacterial tonsillitis.

Bacterial sinusitis.

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Lung infections

Urinary infections.

On the other hand, there are even more common infections, but they are the product of a virus and, therefore, antibiotics do not work. We are talking about:

Flu.

Cold.

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Bronchitis.

Pharyngitis.

Otitis.

If you suffer from any of these diseases and take antibiotics, you can increase bacterial resistance. In other words, the next time you have a bacterial infection, these medications will not have any results. This is a very serious and increasingly frequent problem due to self-medication.

Tips for using antibiotics

Here are some recommendations to avoid bacterial resistance and reduce side effects:

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1. Use the antibiotic as prescribed by the doctor

Never self-medicate or increase the dose indicated by the doctor. Remember that your friends are not doctors and that you always need the advice of a professional before taking a drug.

It is also important to adhere to the intake schedules. If the professional indicated every 12, 8, or 6 hours, follow their instructions strictly.

2. Take the medicine for the prescribed time

Do not abandon the intake of antibiotics because you think that you have already been cured. You must comply with the full treatment, as indicated by the doctor. Even if you don’t have symptoms, the bacteria can still be in your body.

3. Do not save or reuse antibiotics

If you have pills left over, don’t keep them. Having antibiotics at home increases the temptation to self-medicate, which is extremely dangerous.

Better throw away the leftover pills. Sometimes pharmacies have pointed to throwing away medicine, which is usually safer than throwing it away at home. It is worth keeping in mind.

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Side effects of antibiotics

Although they are prescribed by the doctor and their objective is to eliminate certain bacteria that cause diseases, antibiotics can still cause adverse effects.

It is important to know them so as not to be scared if this happens and to stop taking them thinking that they are harmful. These types of reactions are usually common, hence they are considered in the package insert.

However, it is important to bear in mind that they are temporary and, in principle, although annoying, they are not usually serious. However, if you notice that this is not your case and that the medicine is affecting you too negatively, go to the doctor. There may be a less aggressive drug that works for you.

In any case, never stop taking them without consulting your doctor first. Doing so may cause more problems than the side effects of the antibiotic.

1. Diarrhea

Drugs are responsible for killing bacteria of all kinds, including pathogens (which cause disease) and those that live in the intestinal microbiota.

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Therefore,  antibiotics can disturb the normal balance of microorganisms in the intestinal flora.

Thus, it is possible that they reduce the number of beneficial bacteria or increase the populations of parasites that cause diarrhea, hence this is one of the most common symptoms.

2. Candidiasis

First of all, it is important to note that this fungus, Candida, according to various investigations, is responsible for numerous infections in the human body: in the mouth, intestine, or vagina.

Some antibiotics can disturb the bacterial balance in these areas of the body, causing bacteria to proliferate, causing intestinal or vaginal yeast infections, for example.

In the case of the intestine, it is due to the increased colonization of this bacterium within the gastrointestinal system, leading to infection.

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As for the vagina, these drugs alter the microbiota: bacteria reproduce uncontrollably and cause white discharge and itching.

3. More side effects of antibiotics

In addition to diarrhea and yeast infection, taking these drugs can cause :

•Digestive problems (poor absorption or food intolerance, loss of appetite, constipation, gas, gastritis).

•Shortness of breath increased risk of colds or flu.

•Skin disorders.

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•Headaches or migraines.

•Sensitivity to sunlight.

•Reactions allergic.

•Blurry vision.

•Alteration of the nervous system.

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Counteract side effects

How likely you are to get side effects from antibiotics depends on each person. Some reactions are highly unlikely but are always good to keep in mind.

If you are taking medication, pay attention to these tips to counteract possible contraindications:

•Consult with your professional about the possible side effects of antibiotics.

•Find out if it is allowed to “mix” it with other medications you take regularly. Take your medications with water on a full stomach. It is also convenient to ask if they can interact with any food.

•Do not smoke or drink alcohol during the drink. See your doctor quickly if you have trouble breathing.

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•Always accompany the antibiotic with water and not with sugary drinks, dairy, or coffee. Some studies suggest that calcium might decrease the effects of the drug. Therefore, it is advisable not to drink milk or dairy products until several hours after ingesting the antibiotic.

•Drink more water than usual. Take herbal teas to improve digestion and intestinal mucosa. Consume natural juices (not industrial ones).

•Put aside sweets, chocolates, and pastries and, if you do not have diarrhea, increase your fiber intake. A diet rich in sugary industrial products is associated with greater digestive problems, so symptoms may worsen.

•You can eat one yogurt per day to increase the level of intestinal probiotics. Numerous investigations have shown that these are beneficial for intestinal flora.

In general, eat a healthy diet that includes fish, lean meat, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts.

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•Do not expose yourself too much to the sun (especially if one of the symptoms you have is sensitivity to light).

What to do if you experience the side effects of antibiotics?

The next time your doctor prescribes medication, learn about the possible side effects of antibiotics. It is also a good idea to consult with him and discuss his possible interactions with other medicines and foods.

First of all, if you experience any adverse reaction, do not be alarmed or stop taking the antibiotic, as this may be more harmful.

It may seem that the remedy is worse than the disease, but this discomfort is simply temporary and will allow you to alleviate a greater ailment effectively.

So don’t be afraid of antibiotics. In general, as we have said, the side effects, although annoying, are not usually serious. And remember, if you have any doubts, go to the doctor.

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Finally, take special care of your diet while you have to take them to try to counteract their impact as much as possible.

You should also stop harmful habits like tobacco and alcohol. You will see how this will help you and in nothing, you will leave the medicine and you will be like new.

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