Antibiotics are a type of medicine that is prescribed for treating bacterial infections and diseases such as respiratory tract infections that include whooping cough and pneumonia. Other infections that are also treated using antibiotics include skin infections, urinary tract infections and infected wounds. Antibiotics were introduced during the late 1940s and the early 1950s.
Nevertheless, the bad news is that since many of the antibiotics have been used on millions of people and since almost a century, some of the antibiotics have lost their impact on the bacteria. This condition is known as antibiotic resistance.
How do Antibiotics work?
Antibiotics stop the vital processing within the bacteria and thereby kill them. They also control the multiplication of the bacteria thereby controlling the spread of the infection or disease in the body.
This increases the natural immune system of the body and makes the complete elimination of the infection from the body possible. There are different bacteria that affect your body. Accordingly, the healthcare experts prescribe different antibiotics. The different types of antibiotics and the reason for their prescription are as below:
- Antibiotics that are used for treating bacterial belonging to wider spectrum are known as broad spectrum. Such antibiotics include gentamicin and amoxyclin.
- Antibiotics that are used for treating only smaller range of bacteria are known as narrow spectrum antibiotics for example penicillin.
Note: Each antibiotic has a particular ability. For example, penicillin destroys the walls of the bacterial cells whereas there are other antibiotics that inhibit or block the actual working of the bacterial cells.
Doctors usually advise a test for identifying the bacterial infection so that the right type of antibiotics can be prescribed to the patient.
Side Effects of Antibiotics Overuse
Antibiotics are not effective for viral infections such as cold. Moreover, they may also cause dangerous side effects. Over the time with the wrong use of antibiotics, it becomes difficult to kill the disease causing bacteria. Inappropriate or frequent antibiotics use can create antibiotic or bacterial resistance in the body. This then requires higher doses of the antibiotics for killing the bacteria.
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