The word antibiotics comes from the Greek and means "against life". But it is not the one who takes them to the collar, but the germs that make life difficult for him. Antibiotics are still a miracle weapon that can save lives. However, they have to be used properly.
How antibiotics work against bacteria
There are numerous microorganisms that cause infections - especially bacteria and viruses, but also fungi and others. But Antibiotics work exclusively against bacteria. That's because bacteria and viruses are very different. Bacteria grow up to 0.002 mm, have their own metabolism and can be bred on artificial nutrient media. Viruses, on the other hand, are about a hundred times smaller than bacteria and can not exist on their own, they rely on so-called host cells.
Antibiotics attack, among other things, the cell wall or the metabolism of bacteria - against viruses, however, which nest in the human cells, they can not do anything. This knowledge is particularly important in connection with colds: These are mainly caused by viruses - and then no antibiotics help.
Very important: An antibiotic always has to for the prescribed duration be taken. This may or may not require taking the entire pack. The prescribed application, amount of active ingredient and time of administration are adjusted by the doctor to the present infection and possibly existing allergies and comorbidities.
If there is an improvement after the first few days, this indicates that the antibiotic is effective. Nevertheless, the drug must always be taken as long as the doctor has prescribed it - not longer, but not shorter. Only then will all bacteria be destroyed and resistances of the germs avoided.
What else should you watch out for when taking it?
Other important revenue regulations are:
- The prescribed distances between the revenue must be respected. This is the only way to ensure that the level of active ingredient in the body is kept constantly high. "Three times a day" means a dose every eight hours.
- Take antibiotics with water. Antibiotics should be taken with water as milk or other foods may reduce the effect. It is recommended to drink a whole glass of water. Between the consumption of milk / milk products and the antibiotic intake should be at least two hours.
- Exact intake time: There are now different classes of antibiotics. For this reason, there can be no generally valid rules for taking time. Some antibiotics have to be taken on an empty stomach, others are to be eaten. When exactly your medicine should be taken, tells you your doctor or pharmacist; You will also find this information on the package leaflet.
- interactions: Those who also take other medications, should ask for possible interactions with the doctor.
Swallow large tablets better
Antibiotics - especially in higher doses - are often very large and may often not be crushed, for example because of certain tablet coatings (this can be found in the package leaflet).
However, many people find it difficult to swallow large pills. If the application can not be changed to another type of preparation, such as juice, some tricks will help:
- Even before taking a drink of water, so that the mucous membrane is well moistened.
- Then place the tablet on the tongue as far back as possible and rinse with a full glass of water.
- Slightly tilt your head forward (!) When swallowing.
5 facts about antibiotics - © istockphoto, Bozena_Fulawka
Side effects: antibiotics and diarrhea
Antibiotics can also cause side effects due to their mode of action. For humans useful bacteria live, for example, in the oral cavity, but also in our intestines. There they ensure that the food is properly digested. Anyone who has to take an antibiotic combats not only the dangerous, but also the beneficial bacteria. For example, the intestinal flora may become unbalanced. Disorders such as soft stools or even diarrhea are often observed when taking antibiotics.
Normally, after the therapy has ended, normal bowel function is quickly restored. However, those who have problems can buy special preparations for the regeneration of the intestinal flora in the pharmacy, for example yeast cultures from Saccharomyces boulardii or bacterial extracts from Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Escherichia coli.
Disposal of antibiotics
Do not keep opened packages of antibiotics! First, there are different bacteria that are also treated with different drugs; Secondly, an open pack will never meet the above-mentioned revenue criteria. It therefore applies: To have infections cleared up by a doctor; Do not just take antibiotics on suspicion!
For many bacteria antibiotics no longer work. The reason: the pathogens have become resistant to the drugs. In many cases, this is due to too careless use of antibiotics. For example, if the drug is discontinued prematurely, or if the patient does not comply with the protocol, resistant bacteria can survive and become resistant to the drug, that is, insensitive to the antibiotic.
That's why antibiotics are so important to keep the prescribed amount at the right distance over the specified treatment period.