What Are Antibiotics? Its Uses and Side Effects


Antibiotics are a group of drugs that destroy harmful microorganisms and it also inhibits their growth. There are generally used in the treatment of infections caused by bacteria.
Antibiotic means “against life” and any drug that kills germs is an antibiotic. Before he invention of antibiotics, a lot of people died from minor bacterial infection, there was an increased rate of death after surgery due to infections.

The invention of antibiotics led to safer surgeries, lower death rate via surgery infections, and deadly infections can be easily treated now.

Antibiotics are only effective against bacteria, it cannot treat infections caused by viruses and other microorganisms. This type of infections which includes stomach flu, most sore throat, common flu, bronchitis, and coughs cannot be treated with antibiotics but antiviral drugs and sometimes patients are told to rest and eat well that the illness will wear out and this is true.

A test is usually conducted before the prescription of drugs, this helps your doctor to know if the infection is caused by a bacteria or a virus. There are two types of antibiotics; the “broad-spectrum” antibiotics kill a wide range of bacteria while “narrow-spectrum” antibiotics kill specific strains of bacteria.

Side Effects of Anti-biotics

There are many advantages and importance of antibiotics but they also come with side effects; the main adverse side effect is that they affect the digestive system negatively while they treat the infection.

They kill both the good and bad bacteria present in the gut, the good bacteria also known as “probiotics” carry out a lot of important functions in the body and when their population is reduced, a lot of health problems can arise including infections, malabsorption, and digestive problems.

Another negative impact of antibiotic is that they prevent birth control pills from working, so women on birth control pills should ask their doctor’s alternative method of birth control.
Other side effects of antibiotics are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughs
  • Difficulty breathing or tight throat
  • Wheezing
  • Hives,

Women on antibiotics can get vaginal yeast infections because the number of healthy bacteria protecting that region has been reduced. They will experience itching, swellings, a burning sensation, vaginal discharge, and they may also experience painful sexual intercourse.


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