Antibiotic is a generic term used to describe any chemical or drug that is used to treat infection caused by bacteria and other pathogens by either destroying them or inhibiting their growth. (1)
We are sometimes prescribed antibiotics by our doctors to treat diseases caused primarily by bacteria or in some cases in order to prevent the occurrence of secondary bacterial infection if the primary infection is one caused by a virus.
With increasing cases of antibiotic resistance and improper usage of potent drugs that kill pathogens being reported the world over, here is a list of things you should and should and not do when prescribed antibiotics:
DO’S OF ANTIBIOTIC USAGE
1. Inform your doctor of any medical condition you have and the medication you may be taking for it, before s/he writes out a prescription.
2. Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any particular antibiotic group such as sulfa/sulpha drugs or penicillin group drugs.
3. You must also tell your doctor if you are on contraceptive pills or have a tendency to develop yeast infections often.
4. Tell your doctor if you have a sensitive digestive system so that lower potency or alternative drugs may be prescribed for you.
5. Ask your doctor if you are likely to experience any side effects and if s/he can recommend some medicines to help you overcome those side effects.
6. Take the antibiotic as prescribed. This means the antibiotic should be taken at the stated times, the number of times in a day for the duration of the course of the treatment.
7. In case you experience any discomfort while on course, you must consult your doctor at the earliest opportunity.
8. Read the antibiotic/drug literature carefully for more information if you are looking for it.
9. Store the antibiotics as suggested in the literature. This generally means storage in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight, heat and humidity.
DONT’S OF ANTIBIOTIC USAGE
1. Do not stop the prescribed antibiotic course midway. Many people get on an antibiotic program but stop midway as they see their symptoms disappear after a few days of antibiotic usage.