By DAVE RANDOLPH
The first antibiotic was penicillin created in 1928 by Alexander Fleming. Since then many advancements have been made and diseases that once killed people are now easily treated. Even with medical advancements it is still important to remember that if an antibiotic is not taken appropriately there can be some problems that occur.
First, what are antibiotics used for? Antibiotics are drugs that kill microscopic organisms known as bacteria. There is bacteria all over in our body and most of it is ‘good’ bacteria. However, some of it is the ‘bad’ bacteria that in the end will cause you to get sick. Antibiotics are formulated to target this ‘bad’ bacteria in order to help you get better. Different antibiotics are used to treat different infections because they are created by different types of bacteria.
Here are some important things to remember when taking antibiotics. Make sure to take the full round of antibiotics even if you start to feel better. This ensures that you body can fully fight off the infection and prevent a relapse. The more you are on antibiotics the more your body adapts to them which can make future infections harder to treat. This is why we stress taking the full amount because, that is better than relapsing and being put on the same medication again. When you come down with an infection DO NOT pull out leftover antibiotics from last year or a family member and take those, even if you think you have similar symptoms. Leftover antibiotics may not be as effective and they may not be the appropriate ones to treat the infection that your body is fighting.
If you are prescribed an antibiotic just remember to talk about it with your pharmacist and take the full dose. If you experience any adverse symptoms let your pharmacist or doctor know right away.
Finally, remember that not all ‘bugs’ can be treated with antibiotics. Most viral infections generally have to run their course. Rest, plenty of water, and extra Vitamins C and D are ways to help shorten the length of the illness.