Antibiotics are a group of medicines or drugs that are used to treat general infections caused by some germs (bacteria and certain parasites). They do not work against infections that are caused by some particular viruses - for example, the common cold or flu. Antibiotics are normally only prescribed for more serious bacterial infections, as many infections get better on their own. Correct use of antibiotics is absolutely essential to help reduce antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotics can be taken by mouth as liquids, tablets or capsules, or they can be given by injection too. Usually, people who need to have an antibiotic by injection are in hospital because they have a severe infection. Antibiotics are also available as creams, ointments, or lotions to apply to the skin to treat certain skin infections.
It is important to keep in mind that antibiotics are only for an infection that is caused by bacteria. Antibiotics do not work against infection caused by some particular viruses.
Common side effects of Antibiotics include:
Vaginal itching or discharge.
Swollen, black, or "hairy" tongue.
There are various antibiotics available and they come in various different brand names. Antibiotics are usually grouped together based on how they work. Each type of antibiotic only works against certain types of bacteria or parasites. This is why different antibiotics are used to treat different types of infection. The main types of antibiotics include:
Sulfonamides and trimethoprim
Metronidazole and tinidazole.
Quinolones Nitrofurantoin - used for urinary infections.
Some antibiotics work by killing germs and some work by stopping bacteria from multiplying.
Some of the most common uses of antibiotics include the treatment of acne, bronchitis, conjunctivitis (pink eye), ear infections, sexually transmitted diseases, skin infections, strep throat, traveler’s diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infections and urinary tract infections
Always complete the entire course of antibiotics as directed by your doctor. Even though if you may feel better before your medicine is entirely finished, follow through and take the entire course. This is important for your healing. If an antibiotic is stopped in mid-course, germs (bacteria) may be partially treated and not completely killed. Bacteria may then become resistant to that antibiotic.