Can I Take Antibiotics Whenever I Am Sick?

October 15, 2022

Can I Take Antibiotics Whenever I Am Sick?

We owe a lot of our improved health in the last century to the development of antibiotics. They are an incredibly effective tool at tackling certain illnesses, and they reduce the rate of death due to infection complications significantly.

But it is important to know that they are only helpful against bacterial infections, so you need to know what illness you are suffering from in order to seek the appropriate treatment. Read on to get the facts from the AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team.

How Do Antibiotics Know What to Attack?

Antibiotics go to work in your body by targeting bacteria and killing it off or stopping its growth. Antibiotics cannot determine between “good” and “bad” bacteria, so it will target all of the bacteria within your body.

A typical prescription is around seven to 14 days, but you should start to feel relief from your symptoms much earlier. Even if you feel better, you should always finish your prescription in its entirety!

Common Bacterial Infections

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

Does All Antibiotic Use Contribute to Antibiotic Resistance?

Any time that antibiotics are used, it could be contributing to antibiotic resistance. The bacteria targeted by antibiotics are constantly changing and can develop resistance to treatment over time.

This is especially true if you overuse antibiotics, use someone else’s prescription or fail to take your entire medication regimen as prescribed. Do your part and only use antibiotics when necessary, following your prescription directions entirely.

Reducing Antibiotic Resistance

  • Never use an old prescription.
  • Take only antibiotics that were prescribed to YOU.
  • Finish your entire medication regimen, even if you feel better.
  • Get a diagnosis to ensure your infection is bacterial.

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 Ooltewah.

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