If you’re an avid user of social media, you must have asked this question before. It’s hard to miss the constant badgering of antibiotic abuse by medical professionals online. The indiscriminate use of antibiotics is an issue in Nigeria. To a large extent, a lack of awareness contributes to it. In this article, we will try to understand antibiotics and their functions.
What Are Antibiotics Used For?
Antibiotics are used to combat BACTERIAL infections. Infections can be bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic. By killing the bacteria off or halting their growth, antibiotics treat bacterial infection by. Hence, viral infections like the common cold or the flu should not be treated with antibiotics. A fungal infection like ringworm cannot be treated with antibiotics too.
What Kinds Are There?
Antibiotics are divided into several classes based on their modes of action. Every antibiotic within each class have peculiarities that make them a better choice for a particular infection. This is why all antibiotics don’t work for every bacterial infection.
When Should They Be Taken?
Take antibiotics when you have a bacterial infection. That’s the right advice, you’d agree. But how do you know you have a bacterial infection? Here’s the problem. One of the tell-tale signs of infections is fever. Should you pop antibiotics every time you have a fever? Of course not. Malaria frequently comes with a fever. But, it isn’t a bacterial infection. Hence you don’t use antibiotics. Infections can also come with pain, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting e.t.c. However, none of these confirms the presence of a bacterial infection.
What is the right thing to do? You should visit a doctor. A doctor has enough experience to tell a bacterial infection from other kinds. This, they will do after listening to your complaints, and examining you. Then, they can prescribe the appropriate antibiotic for the infection. What if they are not sure? They take body samples. This can be saliva, urine, stool or blood. They run tests to find out the kind of infection. These tests can also reveal what type of antibiotic will work best for the infection.
Doing this when you’re ill saves you a lot of stress. Antibiotics have many side effects and you shouldn’t be using the wrong ones. It’s better to use none at all in this case. Medical professionals are your go-to people for antibiotic prescription always.