Antibiotics:Three questions to ask your Pharmacist
- Do I really need antibiotics?
Antibiotics, in particular amoxycillin, are some of the most commonly prescribed medications in Australia. These medications do a remarkable job in fighting bacterial infections, usually by destroying the bacterial cell walls or affecting the way the cells work. Your Doctor will select the right type of antibiotic according to the type of bacterial infection your body is fighting.
Antibiotics do not work against viruses, such as the common cold or influenza. Antibiotics will not help a cold or the flu get better faster, stop a cold or the flu from getting worse or stop a cold or the flu from spreading to other people.
- What are the risks?
As with all medication’s, antibiotics have the potential to cause unwanted side effects, such as diarrhea, vomiting and an increase chance of a urinary tract infection.
Additionally, using antibiotics too often can lead to ‘antibiotic resistance’. The more you use antibiotics, the more likely they may not work as well for you in the future. Thus, it is essential that these medications are only taken when required. They should be taken exactly as prescribed and the full course should be finished to avoid future complications i.e. antibiotic resistance.
- What else can I do to relieve my cold?
Rest and plenty of water and warm broths are the first step to helping your immune system in fighting the virus and relieve your common cold. Your immune system may also benefit by including vitamin and anti-oxidant rich foods and spices such as garlic, ginger, turmeric and oregano. Speak with your Direct Chemist Outlet Pharmacist for more specific advice on medication and/or supplements that may assist with relieving your symptoms.
DISCLAIMER: This material contains general information about medical conditions and treatments and is intended for educational purposes only. It does not constitute medical or professional advice, nor should it be used for the purposes of diagnosing or treating any illness. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your local pharmacist or health provider to obtain professional advice relevant to your specific circumstances.