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Antibiotics: Uses, Types And Common Side Effects You Must Be Aware Of

Antibiotics: During the sequence of events where White Blood Cells (WBCs) don't work, antibiotics come to use. Read here to know more about antibiotics, their uses, side effects and much more.

Antibiotics: Uses, Types And Common Side Effects You Must Be Aware Of

Antibiotics can be helpful in treating sinus infections and skin infections


  1. Most bacterial infections can be treated with the help of antibiotics
  2. Antibiotics may attack the good bacteria in your body
  3. This may result in growth of harmful bacteria

Medicinal drugs which minimise and stop the development of bacteria are known as antibiotics or antibacterial medicinal drugs. They are usually thought of as treating infections caused by a virus, but they do not administer infections like cold, cough or flu. In a normal body condition, white blood cells (WBC) are used to treat bacterial infections by killing the bacteria which is not required by the body as fast as it starts to act up. But during some sequence of events where the WBC's are unable to perform, antibiotics come into use. In this article, we are going to discuss everything about antibiotics, how they are to be used, what are the possible side effects they cause and much more.

How do antibiotics work?

Different kinds of antibiotics work in different ways

1. Antibiotics used to treat pneumonia are known as Quinolones. Commonly used quinolones are levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin.

2. Antibiotics such as penicillin work on the bacteria around the wall of the cell by killing it and allowing the cell membrane to fall out.

3. Macrolides are protein affecting bacteria. They attack bacterial ribosomes of the cell and fight different skin infections. Commonly used macrolide is erythromycin.


Antibiotics can be used to treat skin infections
Photo Credit: iStock

Thus, an antibiotic crawls up to the bloodstream of your body and starts acting against the harmful bacterial cells. This helps the good bacteria in your body to stay uninterrupted and perform.

Also read: World's Most Prescribed Medicine: Antibiotics

Uses of antibiotics

Majorly all the bacterial infections are usually treated by the use of antibiotics. But they are divided into broad or limited spectrum types.

Broad-spectrum antibiotics: used against a general population of bacterial infections.

Limited spectrum antibiotics: used to treat infections relating to specific bacteria only.

It may conform to types of viral infections but can be determined by an (MHP) medical health professional accurately.

Following are the diseases that can be treated with the help of antibiotics:

1. Skin infections

2. Pneumonia

3. Kidney or intestinal infections

4. Sinus infections

5. Infections in the ear

6. Meningitis

7. Dental infections

Side effects of antibiotics

In some cases, antibiotics tend to attack against the good bacteria in your body along with killing the harmful ones. This can provide a scope for the harmful bacteria to grow as it makes enough space form them reproduce. Thus excessive use of antibiotics can have reverse effects on your body causing more infections and creating a vicious environment for the cells to develop.

Also read: Beware! Taking Leftover Antibiotics Can Be Dangerous For Your Health

Some side effects of antibiotics include:

1. Diarrhoeal infection

2. Vomiting

3. Stomach ache

4. Cramps

5. Blood in faeces


Antibiotics can cause side effects like cramps
Photo Credit: iStock

Antibiotic resistance

Having no productive treatment towards a disease due to excess development of bacteria, which cannot be controlled through medicinal drugs like antibiotics is known as antibiotic resistance.

Also read: Fish Mucus Offers Potential New Antibiotics

Simply, it is explained as an ineffective treatment for an illness due to the loss of counteraction of the treatment. This takes place as certain bacteria happen to be consisting of distinctive features which do not allow antibiotics to operate on them. A few antibiotic-resistance infections include:

1. Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus (VRE): Infections in the bloodstream usually taking place in hospital environments.

2. Clostridium Difficile (C. diff): This is resistant to a lot of antibiotics causing intestinal infections usually due to the ailment of a contrasting bacterial disease.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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