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Myths vs. Facts – Antibiotics

Written by S.O.

Posted on September 14, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Antibiotics are usually given to fight off infection and cure diseases. They are commonly used in medicine; however, there are many misconceptions and myths regarding their use and efficacy. Below you will find a number of myths vs. facts regarding antibiotics.

Myth: They Fight Off the Common Cold

Antibiotics are most effective when fighting bacteria growth and some funguses. They are NOT for use against viruses. Many of the common infections like colds and other ailments that are fleeting—albeit uncomfortable—are viral in nature. Therefore, antibiotics will not be effective in most of those particular situations as it is not a “cure-all” form of medicine and cannot be used against everything.

Fact: You Should Use Your Prescription for the Full Time

Antibiotics, in some cases, can work quickly. They can make you feel better, sometimes overnight. Even if you feel better, you should still use your prescription for the full amount of time that it was prescribed to work. This is because “feeling better” is a false indication of whether or not you actually are. It, often times, means that you are on the road to recovery but not 100%. Therefore, it is advised to take the prescription for the full amount of time as stated on the bottle.

Myth: Keep the Extras

Sometimes you will end up with extra antibiotics in the bottle that you have not used. It can be tempting to keep these, and many people do. But, there are several reasons why this is bad. Keeping the extras not only means that they can fall into the wrong hands and cause damage, but they can also begin to wain in their efficacy. Antibiotics, overtime, may start to lose their potency, leaving them as ineffective placebos that do little more than take up shelf space. In order to protect yourself, your family, and your body, make sure that you know that you should never keep the extras and get into the habit of properly disposing of them.

Fact: Sharing Medications is Bad

Even if you are likely to be prescribed an antibiotic by your doctor that is similar to an antibiotic that was prescribed to a friend or family member, it is still not acceptable to share it. There is a reason why prescriptions are individualized by how many milligrams or doses is required in order to improve health – usually it is unique to the needs of the person the medication is prescribed to. Because of this, sharing medication is not safe and never will be.

Many doctors in the U.S. do not prefer giving antibiotics immediately, and this has a lot to do with how effective they are and how not completing the course can impact your health. Nonetheless, if you’ve been prescribed antibiotics, make sure to follow the instructions as suggested by your doctor.

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