Only against bacteria!
Antibiotics are necessary not every time your child is sick. Here we will call antibiotics the whole spectrum of drugs that have properties in different ways to influence bacteria.
There are 2 main types of microorganisms that cause most infections-viruses and bacteria, and antibiotics only affect bacteria.
Bacteria are single-celled organisms that measure only a few thousandths of a millimeter. They live on our skin, in our digestive system. In fact, quadrillion bacteria (one hundred thousand billion), live and thrive outside or inside us. Although most of them are either harmless or beneficial to the body (for example, they help to digest nutrients), some of them are dangerous and cause illness. They are responsible for many childhood illnesses, including most ear infections, sore throat, sinuses, and urinary tract infections.
Viruses are even smaller than bacteria. Despite its size, viruses can cause serious diseases. They are responsible for the common cold, flu, and most angina and cases of coughing. They also cause smallpox, measles, mumps, hepatitis, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). There are drugs called antiviral drugs that have been developed to deal specifically with viruses, but there are very few of them and they only affect certain types of viruses.
If a child has a viral disease, antibiotics do not shorten the duration of high temperature and do not help to cure other cold symptoms. Antibiotics will not accelerate the child’s recovery. If a child develops side effects from antibiotics, he will feel worse, not better.
For children, antibiotics are available in various forms, including tablets, capsules, liquids and chewable tablets. Some antibiotics are produced in the form of ointments or drops (eg, ear infections). When your pediatrician prescribes antibiotics, he chooses the most appropriate, based on a specific situation.
How do antibiotics work?
Antibiotics fall into the focus of inflammation with blood flow and act on bacteria in different ways. Some destroy the structure of bacteria, others hinder their reproduction Scientists often classify antibacterial agents as follows:
- Some antibiotics (for example, penicillin, cephalosporin) kill bacteria. They are called bactericidal.
- Other antibacterial agents (eg, tetracycline, erythromycin) block the growth and multiplication of bacteria. They are called bacteriostatic. Due to the fact that millions of bacteria are needed to develop the disease, these antibiotics can stop the infection and give your own immune system time for defense.
Some antibiotics have a wide range of action and can fight many types of bacteria in the body, while others are more specific. If, according to some analyzes (sowing of blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, for example) the type of bacteria is determined, your pediatrician can prescribe antibiotics that can be targeted for these microbes.
Remember, if your child has a cold, antibiotics are not necessary. Sometimes it is difficult to determine caused by a child’s disease by viruses or bacteria. For this reason, never try to diagnose and treat your child’s illnesses on your own. Consult a physician.
Can antibiotics be used for prevention?
Antimicrobials are mainly used to treat infections, but they are sometimes prescribed to prevent diseases. For example, children who have frequent urinary tract infections, sometimes receive antibacterial agents to reduce the likelihood that they will recur.
Drugs can kill bacteria before they have a chance to cause an infectious disease.
Side Effects of Antibiotics
What are adverse reactions and on what does their occurrence depend? Adverse reactions in medicine and pharmacology are called some effects or phenomena of a pathological nature that arise against the background of the use of a particular drug.
Adverse reactions to antibiotics are always associated with their reception and, as a rule, they pass after the cessation of treatment or after the drug is changed.
The emergence of adverse reactions to antibiotics is a complex pathophysiological process in development, of which many factors are involved.
On the one hand, the risk of adverse reactions is determined by the properties of the antibiotic itself, and on the other hand by the reaction of the patient’s organism to it. For example, it is known that penicillins belong to low-toxic antibiotics (this is a characteristic feature of penicillin), however, in a sensitized organism, penicillin can cause an allergic reaction, the development of which depends on the individual characteristics of the organism.
Also, the occurrence of adverse reactions depends on the dose of antibiotic used and on the duration of treatment. In most cases, the frequency and severity of side effects on antibiotics increases concurrently with an increase in the dose or duration of treatment.
The occurrence of some adverse reactions depends on the dosage form of the antibiotic used (tablets or injections). For example, nausea as an adverse event is most typical for antibiotics taken internally.
What are the possible side effects when using antibiotics? Adverse reactions to taking antibiotics can be very diverse, and the same side reactions, in different cases, can be different in strength. We will describe the most common adverse reactions associated with taking antibiotics.
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