Antibiotic: Uses, How it’s works & Side effects


Antibiotic is a type of antimicrobial substance which is used to destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria. Antibiotics are more commonly used medicine in the treatment and prevention of infections. Antibiotics are medications that destroy the growth of bacteria but it cannot be used in the treat viral infections such as common cold & flu, cough etc.

This article will explain the details of Antibiotics, uses, interactions, side effects
Antibiotics come in many forms, including Capsules, Tablets, Creams, Liquids and Ointments.

“Alexander Flemming discovered penicillin in 1928, which was the first natural antibiotic”

Antibiotic is a powerful medicine which is used properly in the treatment of certain infections to save lives.

The human immune system that automatically destroys the bacteria. The WBC (White blood cells) in the body destroy the harmful bacteria. In some cases, there will be an excess number of harmful bacteria which cannot be slowed down by the human immune systems. In that case, Antibiotics are prescribed to fight against harmful bacteria.

Till today penicillin-based antibiotics such as amoxicillin, Penicillin G and ampicillin are available to treat different types of infections. In several countries, Antibiotics are given based on doctors prescription. The antibiotics are available in the form of cream and ointments in over the counter (OTC) sales

How it works:

The antibiotic works in two major ways with the bacteria.
They completely destroy the bacteria that cause infection. Example Penicillin
In other cases it prevents the reproduction or multiplication of the bacteria


The antibiotics are prescribed in the case of bacterial infections whereas the antibiotics are not more effective in case of viral infections. So we have to first identify the infection is caused by bacteria or virus which helps in effective treatments.

Viruses cause diseases like sore throats, coughs, colds and flu, runny noses. In such cases, the antibiotic would not help to treat or cure the disease. The incorrect usage and over usage of the antibiotic might become resistant to the bacteria which means it becomes less effective on the bacterium.

Healthcare practitioners prescribe a broad spectrum antibiotic to treat a large range of infection and narrow-spectrum antibiotics are used effectively against a few types of bacteria.

Some antibiotics work on the anaerobic bacteria (It’s a bacteria does not need oxygen), whereas another works on the aerobic bacteria which need oxygen.

Doctors may provide antibiotics in the prevention of infection rather than the treatment of infection. This is called prophylactic use of antibiotics. Example: antibiotic is also commonly are given before many surgeries such as dental surgery, orthopaedic surgery and many more.

Here are the top 4 lists of common infection that are treated with antibiotics.

Urinary Tract Infection:

A urinary tract infection (UTI), is an infection that can happen anywhere along the urinary tract the kidneys, bladder, ureters or the urethra. Most commonly, infections affect the lower urinary tract ( urethra and bladder) which is called cystitis.
Macrobid, Ciprofloxacin, Nitrofurantoin, Cipro are the medicine used to treat Urinary Tract Infection

Upper Respiratory Tract Infection:

Most of the Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI) are caused by viruses and it is described as acute infections of the ears, throat, nose and sinuses.
Ceftin, Amoxicillin, Erythromycin, Cefprozil are some of the medicines used to treat Upper Respiratory Tract Infection


Doxycycline, Aldactone, Minocycline are some of the antibiotic medicine used to treat acne. Acne is an inflammatory skin condition characterized by superficial skin eruptions around hair follicles.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Conjunctivitis is an infection or inflammation of the membrane lining the eyelids. The list of some medications are used in the treatment Conjunctivitis are Lotemax, Gatifloxacin, Zymar, Dexamethasone, Diclofenac, Zymaxid etc

The generic antibiotics are Levofloxacin, Azithromycin, Amoxicillin, Sulfamethoxazole, Cephalexin, Metronidazole, Ciprofloxacin etc.

Side effects:

The most common side of antibiotic affects the digestive system. This will happen for 1 in 10 people. The side effects of antibiotics that include nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhoea. These are mild side effects of antibiotics in case if you get any other additional side effects contact healthcare practitioner for further advice.

Antibiotic Allergic Reactions:

In 1 in 15 people are allergic to antibiotics, especially penicillin and cephalosporins. Most of the allergic reactions are mild to moderate. Side effects might include an itchy skin rash( urticaria or hives), wheezing, swelling of the tongue and face, coughing, tightness of the throat which leads to difficulty breathing.

Antihistamines are given to treat mild to moderate allergic reaction successfully. In rare case antibiotic cause severe life-threatening allergic reaction which is called anaphylaxis.

Mild allergic reactions and initial symptoms of anaphylaxis are similar which include losing consciousness, wheezing, fast heartbeat, fainting, anxiety, l. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and it a life-threatening, rush up and dial for an ambulance if you think the allergy looks like Anaphylaxis.


Other medicine or herbal medicine should not be taken along with antibiotics without consulting the health practitioner. Certain over the counter sale medicines (OTC) may react with antibiotics.

How long do antibiotics take to work?

Most antibiotics should be taken for around 7 to 14 days. Your doctor will decide the correct antibiotic type and usage length. In some cases, it can be taken for shorter days. Don’t stop the antibiotic without consulting with the general practitioner.
Your healthcare practitioner will decide the correct antibiotic type and duration of the antibiotics intake