Do I Need an Antibiotic?

Do I Need an Antibiotic?

If you are fighting a cold and a sore throat, odds are you want relief ASAP. Nothing appears to help, and you are running short of patience—not to mention your latest box of tissues. Is it time to request an antibiotic from your doctor? The answer may surprise you.

According to experts from our clinic in Plant City, many people believe antibiotics will solve the issue and alleviate symptoms, but they are hardly a cure-all. Antibiotics specifically target bacteria, but most standard illnesses, like colds, aren't driven by bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that about one-third of the antibiotics prescribed in the U.S. are excessive.

Why should you be worried?

The unnecessary usage of antibiotics has generated widespread resistance to the drugs meant to help us. In addition, sometimes a patient has utilized so many antibiotics that the bacteria in their body have evolved, making most antibiotics no longer perform for them. This can be a major problem if they develop a life-threatening infection from a bacterium that has grown invulnerable to all the antibiotics available.

Antibiotics can include mild to life-threatening side effects, like diarrhea, rashes, and allergic reactions. The CDC admits that adverse reactions to antibiotics are accountable for 1 of 5 medication-related emergency room stops. Many people believe antibiotics are no big deal. Still, in reality, these side effects can affect anyone, even if they have taken the antibiotic before.

So before running to your doctor or local urgent care, understand what antibiotics do, which conditions they should and shouldn't treat, and whether it's worth scheduling a visit or buying another box of tissues and waiting the cold out.

What do antibiotics do?

Antibiotics means against life because they oppose the living organisms that make you ill. Antibiotics fight bacteria by either killing them or stopping them from growing. They don't successfully treat viruses like the common cold, flu, or fungi like ringworm and athlete's foot.

What can antibiotics treat successfully?

  • Pneumonia
  • Strep throat
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Skin infections, including cellulitis and abscesses
  • Ear infections
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Lengthy sinus infections

What can't antibiotics treat successfully?

  • A Cold
  • The Flu
  • Viral bronchitis
  • Sore throats
  • Coughs

Remember that most coughs can endure up to 18 days after an upper respiratory infection, so you'll have to be patient. Also, coughs do not demand antibiotics, which is difficult for some individuals who desire instant gratification.

When should you organize an appointment?

Most viruses go away after a week or so, and antibiotics won't help. So, before you book that doctor's visit, here are some things you can do to reduce your discomfort:

  • Rest
  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Gargle with warm saltwater
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever
  • Use a humidifier to reduce congestion.

If your signs continue after a few weeks without progress, it may be time to see your physician. Seek prompt attention if you're having problems breathing or experiencing excruciating pain. We shouldn't fear antibiotics, but we must also comprehend their role in enabling us to stay healthy.

We hope this helps you better understand antibiotics. Contact us today if you need a health clinic in Plant City. We are committed to your health and well-being.

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