What’s the Purpose of Antibiotics?

October 15, 2022
What’s the Purpose of Antibiotics?

When we stop to think about some of the greatest human inventions, things like the internet, the telephone and the wheel all probably come to mind! We would also add the development of antibiotics to that star-studded list.

The development of antibiotics has reduced our risk of serious complications or death due to a bacterial infection drastically. Coming down with an ear infection or strep throat is no longer usually a threat to your life. We appreciate you, modern medicine!

While we are so grateful to have such an effective resource at our fingertips, misuse of antibiotics is a problem that we continue to face. Read on to learn more about responsible antibiotic use from our AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga team below.

How Do Antibiotics Know What to Attack?

Antibiotics target all the bacteria in your body, and that includes both the naturally occurring bacteria in your gut, as well as the unwelcome kind from an infection. In order for them to work as they are supposed to, it is crucial to follow your prescription details fully.

If you only take a few pills and then start to feel relief, that is fantastic! However, you need to keep taking the rest of your prescription until it is completely gone. If you don’t, your infection could come back and you could be contributing to antibiotic resistance.

Commonly Treatable Bacterial Infections

  • UTI (urinary tract infection)
  • Strep throat
  • Ear or sinus infections
  • Bacterial pneumonias

Am I Contributing to Antibiotic Resistance?

If you are only seeking a prescription when you need one, you take your dosage as directed and you take your entire prescription, you are doing everything you can to prevent adding to the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance can develop when you take just a few pills of your prescription or take someone else’s leftover medication. The bacteria can evolve and learn how to evade treatment, leading to the creation of superinfections. Superinfections sound pretty scary, right? That is why you need to be responsible with any antibiotic use and only use them when you need them.

How to Avoid Contributing to Antibiotic Resistance

  • Only take the antibiotics that were prescribed to you.
  • Get a proper prescription from a medical provider.
  • Do not use your friend’s old prescriptions.
  • Take the entire prescription, even if you no longer have any symptoms.

Antibiotics are a great tool when used appropriately! If you think you need a prescription for an infection you have, come see us at AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga.

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