Medicines that aid in stopping infections caused by bacteria by killing the bacteria or by keeping them from copying themselves or reproducing are known as Antibiotic.
It literally means ‘against life’. Anything medical drug that is responsible for killing germs in your body is an antibiotic. Laymen though use it to describe any medicine that is meant to kill bacteria.
Before antibiotics were discovered, life expectancy was really low due to even minor bacterial infections, like strep throat causing death. Even surgery was risky. Once the world was introduced to it, life expectancy increased, surgeries got safer, and people could survive what used to be deadly infections.
Bacteria live in our body generally but are usually harmless. Some are even helpful. They can infect almost any organ. We have antibiotics to take care of the bad bacteria.
Antibiotics usually treat:
- Dental infections
- Skin infections
- Some ear and sinus infections
- Meningitis (swelling of the brain and spinal cord)
- Strep throat
- Bladder and kidney infections
- Bacterial pneumonias
- Whooping cough
Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections. Virus cause the common cold, flu, most coughs, some bronchitis infections, most sore throats, and the stomach flu, which is why antibiotics won’t work to treat them.
Your gut is full of bacteria — both good and bad which is why antibiotics often affect your digestive system while they’re treating an infection. Common side effects include:
- Bloating or indigestion
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Hives – a raised, itchy skin rash
- Tight throat or trouble breathing
You could be allergic to antibiotics if you display these symptoms.
Women can also get vaginal yeast infections while taking antibiotics. The swelling from it causes itching, burning, vaginal discharge (looks similar to cottage cheese) and pain during sex. It’s treated with an anti-fungal cream. It can also affect birth control pills, so talk to your doctor before taking them.