Can You Do Without Antibiotics?

For decades, people frequently sought antibiotics for almost any ailment, even those that these medications could not help. The development of superbugs has shone a light on the overuse of antibiotics in the United States. For years, healthcare experts have warned that doctors over-prescribe these medications, leading to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. To help keep everyone healthy, you need to understand when you need antibiotics and when you can do without them.


If you have a cold, the flu, or another viral infection, an antibiotic will do you no good whatsoever since they are meant to fight bacterial infections. Physicians now rarely prescribe antibiotics in those situations, but you may still be tempted to use "leftover" medications in your medicine cabinet or take someone else's medication in an attempt to feel better. In fact, some people get their antibiotics from Mexico without a prescription or use some other backdoor method to acquire them. There are several things wrong with these scenarios.

When you are prescribed antibiotics, you need to take the full course so that the bug will be totally eradicated in your system and not bounce back stronger than ever. Also, when you take these medications unnecessarily, you help some bacteria become harder to fight as well. Basically, when you take antibiotics incorrectly, you are helping to grow bacteria that cannot be killed by the medications currently on the market. The superbug you help to create today can infect your children tomorrow.


Sometimes it is hard to tell when you need an antibiotic. For instance, a cold can sometimes lead to a sinus infection. If you are still having nasty nasal discharge several weeks after originally catching a cold, your doctor may determine that you do need antibiotics. Sometimes a sore throat is not just a cold symptom but a sign of a strep infection. In that case, the doctor will run lab tests to confirm that you need antibiotics. In recent years, doctors have become much less likely to give you antibiotics unless they are positive that you need them.

When you are miserable with a cold, fever, or another ailment, you want something to make you feel better. Once you are in the doctor's office or urgent care facility, you may feel that you deserve some sort of prescription for your troubles. In many cases, those medications will not help your condition, particularly if it is viral. Rather than search for antibiotics, treat your symptoms, get plenty of rest, and follow the doctor's instructions.

For more information, contact local professionals like Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc.