Antibiotic Treatment Information
Antibiotic treatment is done with the use of antibiotics, a group of medications that specializes in the treatment and elimination of bacterial infections. Depending on the specific bacteria and specific antibiotic used, the bacterial population will either be destroyed or stripped of the ability to reproduce. Once the bacteria has been neutralized, the body’s natural immune system is capable of taking care of repairing damage and controlling other threats. This process can be used to save a patient’s life in some cases where antibiotics are the only method of treatment available. However, antibiotics have no effect when used against viral invaders. Ailments, such as the common flu, are caused by viruses and thus, antibiotic dosage is useless. Ancient populations used antibiotics in the form of molds, but did not know how the molds contributed to a patient’s recovery. In current times, many antibiotics have been created and used to treat many different types of conditions.
There are several different classifications for antibiotic medications. These are based on the bacterial spectrum (narrow or broad), method of administration (oral, topical, or injectable), and type of activity (bacteriostatic or bactericidal). Medications belonging to the same class tend to have similar levels of toxicity and effectiveness. The most common groups of antibiotics are penicillins and cephalosporins. The penicillin class of antibiotics is one of the oldest and there are four types of penicillin: natural, penicillinase-resistant, extended spectrum, and aminopenicillins. For patients who have contracted rat bite fever penicillin is known to be one of the few possible treatment options as the condition is resilient against many varieties of antibiotics. Another class of antibiotics are cephalosporins. These antibiotics are classified into generation groupings and the latest, the fourth generation, is effective in treating a wide base of conditions including meningitis.
Antibiotic side effects can differ greatly with the type of antibiotic used but are generally considered to be very safe medications. In the case of penicillin, it is one of the least toxic drugs known in the world. This lack of toxicity is one of the reasons it has become so popular. Diarrhea is the most frequently encountered side effect of penicillin, but the medication can also cause stomach issues, nausea, and vomiting. In the rarest of situations, an antibiotic dosage of penicillin may be the source of allergic reactions which can include rashes, hives, fever, and anaphylactic shock. While not quite as safe as the penicillin group of medications, cephalosporins also exhibit few antibiotic side effects. When they do appear, they are present in the same form as with penicillin. Both groupings of antibiotics are labeled as category B for expecting mothers.
With the relatively low possibility of side effects and the wide range of disease and conditions that can be treated, administration of antibiotics is extremely common. Any adverse reaction that is discovered after usage of antibiotic treatment should be reported to a local physician.