What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are medicines that help stop infections caused by bacteria. They do this by killing the bacteria or preventing them from copying or reproducing.
The word antibiotic means “against life”. Drugs that kill bacteria in the body are technically azithromycin. However, most people use this term when talking about drugs intended to kill bacteria.
Before scientists first discovered antibiotics in the 1920s, many people died from minor bacterial infections such as strep. The operation was also risky. However, the availability of antibiotics in the 1940s increased life expectancy, made surgery safer, and allowed people to survive once fatal infections.
What antibiotics can and cannot do?
Most of the bacteria that live in your body are harmless. Some are even useful. Yet bacteria can infect almost any organ. Fortunately, antibiotics usually help.
The types of infections that can be treated with azithromycin are:
- Some ear and sinus infections
- Tooth infection
- Skin infections
- Meningitis (swelling of the brain and spinal cord)
- Streptococcal pharyngitis
- Bladder and kidney infections
- Bacterial pneumonia
- Whooping cough
- Clostridioides difficile
Antibiotics can only kill bacterial infections. The common cold, the flu, most coughs, some bronchitis, most sore throats, and stomach flu are all caused by viruses. azithromycin doesn’t work to cure them. Your doctor will tell you to wait for these diseases to go away or to prescribe antiviral drugs to get rid of them.
It is not always clear whether the infection is viral or bacterial. The doctor may perform some tests before deciding which treatment is needed.
Some azithromycin work against different types of bacteria. They are said to be “broad spectrum”. Others only target specific bacteria. They are known as “narrow band”.
How do antibiotics work?
There are several types of antibiotics, which work in their own way. However, the two main ones that work include:
A bactericidal antibiotic, such as penicillin, kills bacteria. These drugs usually interfere with the formation of the bacterial cell wall or its cellular contents.
A bacteriostat prevents bacteria from multiplying.
It may take a few hours or a few days after taking the first dose for people to feel better or for their symptoms to improve.
Antibiotics like Azee 500 and Azeetop 250mg are usually taken orally. However, doctors can administer them by injection or apply them directly to the infected body part.
Most azithromycin start working within hours. Doctors advise people to take all medications to prevent recurrence of the infection.
Stopping the drug before the cycle is over increases the risk of bacteria becoming resistant to future treatments.
Antibiotic treatment should also be completed after noticing an improvement in symptoms.
Your doctor and the leaflet that comes with the medicine will give you specific instructions on how to take the medicine correctly.
There are some tips people can follow to use antibiotics effectively.
Avoid alcohol while using metronidazole.
Avoid dairy products while taking tetracyclines, as they can interfere with the absorption of the drug.
Take your medicines at the same time or at scheduled times of the day. It depends on how many times a day you need to take the medicine.
Available antibiotics (Azithromycin) Tablets
Types of antibiotics
There are several classes or groups of antibiotics, which depend on their chemical structure. Some classes of antibiotics include:
|Macrolides||Azithromycin (Zithromax) and erythromycin (Ery-Tab)|
|Cephalosporins||Cephalexin (Keflex) and cefdinir (Omnicef)|
|Fluoroquinolones||Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and levofloxacin (Levaquin)|
|Beta-lactams with increased activity||amoxicillin/clavulanate (Augmentin)|
|Urinary anti-infectives||Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid)|
This list is not exhaustive: there are other classes and brand names. Furthermore, penicillins, cephalosporins and other antibiotics can be considered subclasses of beta-lactams.
Since your gut is full of bacteria, both good and bad, azithromycin often affects your digestive system while treating an infection. Common side effects include:
- Bloating or indigestion
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
Occasionally you may have other symptoms, such as:
- Hives: an itchy raised rash
- Narrow throat or difficulty breathing
These symptoms may mean you are allergic to your antibiotic, so tell your doctor right away if you have any.
If you take birth control pills, antibiotics can prevent them from working as they should, so talk to your doctor about whether other birth control methods might be a good idea. Women can also get yeast infections when taking azithromycin. Symptoms include itching, burning, vaginal discharge (resembling cottage cheese) and pain during sex. It is treated with an antifungal cream.
Antibiotics are powerful antiseptic tools when used carefully and safely. However, no more than half of the use of antibiotics is required. Overuse leads to antimicrobial resistance. Bacteria adapt over time and become “super bacteria” or “super insects”. Change so that azithromycin is no longer effective. They pose a serious threat because there is no medicine to kill them.
The best way to slow the spread of superbugs is to use antibiotics wisely.
- Trust your doctor if he says you don’t need it.
- Do not take for viral infections.
- Take only what your doctor has prescribed for you.
- Take as indicated.
- Don’t skip doses.
- Take it every day as prescribed by your doctor.
- Don’t save for later.
People taking antibiotics should not take any other medicines or herbal remedies without first consulting a doctor. Some over-the-counter medications can interact with antibiotics.
Some doctors suggest that azithromycin can make oral contraceptives less effective. However, research generally doesn’t support this.
However, people who suffer from diarrhea or vomit, or who do not take birth control pills when they are sick due to stomach upset, may experience reduced efficacy.
In these situations, your doctor may recommend that you take extra contraceptive precautions.
Doctors may also advise avoiding alcohol for some medications, such as doxycycline. However, drinking alcohol in moderation is unlikely to cause problems with the most commonly used azithromycin.