Antibiotics are drugs that kill infections caused by bacteria.
2 AnswersYour child should take antibiotics if your doctor prescribes them. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. It is very difficult for parents to determine when their child might need antibiotics. A trained healthcare provider can only determine this. With that said, when your child is prescribed an antibiotic, it is important that he or she take them as prescribed.
2 AnswersHealthyWomen answeredA "green" runny nose is not necessarily an indication of a bacterial infection, but it could be. You should check with your healthcare professional. Persistent green secretions lasting beyond five to seven days can indicate a sinus infection, in which case you may need antibiotics.
2 AnswersIf you've had an implant, it's essential that you take antibiotics before you go to the dentist. Reputable dentists won't work on you if they know you've had an implant (including a hip replacement) and refuse antibiotics. During dental procedures, the tens of thousands of bacteria living in your mouth can spread into your blood and lodge on the surface of artificial things, such as a knee, heart valve, or hip replacement. Some of these newer replacement parts have antibiotics embedded, but you still need antibiotics for a dental procedure.
The immune system can't see bacteria resting on inorganic (ceramic, metal, or plastic) implants, so no white blood cells come to attack and kill them off. As a result, if you have an implant and don't take antibiotics before going to the dentist, harmful bacteria thrive and you can get a whopper of an infection. Also, if you have a hip replacement, over time a bacterial film can build up in and around the hip replacement joint, and that can begin to loosen the joint and cause other problems.
Get a prescription for the antibiotics from your orthopedic surgeon or dentist. You'll be instructed to take four or five pills all at once an hour before your teeth cleaning or other dental procedure. Those antibiotics decrease the likelihood of bacteria surviving in your bloodstream, but they can give your guts a run for their money—and the runs. Your best bet to prevent an upset stomach is to take a daily dose of probiotics a couple of days before, the day of, and for at least a week after you go to the dentist. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are strains found in yogurt that are added to soy products and in supplements. We recommend Digestive Advantage or Sustenex (they have armor-like shells that hold up through stomach acid) and Culturelle, a probiotic that actually gets turned on by stomach acid. Now smile—and get your teeth cleaned.
1 AnswerAntibiotics are an old treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that are getting a fresh look, though not by many mainstream doctors. That's too bad, because several studies show that about half of the people who take certain antibiotics -- particularly minocycline, a broad-spectrum drug in the tetracycline family -- have as much as a 50% improvement in joint pain and swelling.
Why isn't exactly clear, but a lot about rheumatoid arthritis is unclear. There's some evidence that antibiotics block cartilage-damaging enzymes. Another theory is that the drugs subdue joint inflammation.
There is scientific support for the fact that following a vegetarian or Mediterranean diet lowers inflammation in the body. If your doctor pooh-poohs that, he's probably not going to prescribe antibiotics. A holistic rheumatologist may be more willing to give it a try. To find one, check the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine.
1 AnswerThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that livestock producers cut back on low-dose antibiotics routinely added to the feed of chickens, pigs, and beef cattle. These antibiotics promote faster growth, but this dangerous practice also promotes the development of antibiotic-resistant superbugs that infect about 1.4 million people each year and kill at least 63,000 in North America.
The FDA's new stand is a start, but is it tough enough? I think an outright ban (the kind the European Union's had in place since the 1990s) is a better way to at least partially close the door on antibiotic-resistant bacteria and start eating clean. True, feeding animals antibiotics isn't the only reason for the rise of superbugs (overuse of antibiotics in humans, such as using antibiotics to treat a sinus infection caused by a virus, is part of the problem), but antibiotics fed to livestock are significant troublemakers.
1 AnswerI've been advising parents for a long time not to automatically give their kids antibiotics for ear infections, the flu, or bronchitis -- all of which are usually caused by viruses. Antibiotics are designed to knock out bacterial infections, not viruses, yet every year in North America more than 50 million unnecessary and ineffective prescriptions for antibiotics are written to "treat" common viral infections. This misuse only worsens the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Don't get me wrong; these antibiotics are wonder drugs and millions of lives are saved every year because they kill off infections. Just be wise about using them. Giving kids common antibiotics, such as streptomycin and vancomycin, may damage their immune systems by eradicating good gut bacteria in their developing intestines. The result? Researchers think the ever-increasing use of antibiotics might be what's causing the number of allergic asthma cases to skyrocket. (There's been around a 50% increase in the past decade.) Now it's estimated that around 9 million kids in North America have this respiratory disease.
When your child comes down with a cold, flu, or other upper respiratory illness, ask the doc if antibiotics are really the best solution. Sometimes less is more.
1 AnswerDr. Joel H. Fuhrman, MD , Family Medicine, answeredIf you take antibiotics repeatedly, you diminish the population of good bacteria that protects you against the "harmful" bacteria. In addition, the "harmful" bacteria become more resistant (harder to kill with antibiotics the next time). Over 100 different helpful intestinal bacteria are lost with the use of antibiotics which then give pathogenic (disease-causing) microbes the chance to proliferate and fill the ecologic vacuum created by the repeated administration of antibiotics.
2 AnswersDr. Joel H. Fuhrman, MD , Family Medicine, answeredThe more common side effects of antibiotics include diarrhea, digestive disturbances, yeast overgrowth, bone marrow suppression, seizures, kidney damage, severe bloody colitis, and life-threatening allergic reactions. The unnecessary use and overuse of antibiotics during past decades has been blamed for the recent emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of deadly bacteria.
Besides these potential risks, in every single person who takes an antibiotic, the drug kills a broad assortment of helpful bacteria that live in the digestive tract and aid digestion. It kills the "bad" bacteria, such as those that can complicate an infection, but it also kills these helpful "good" bacteria lining your digestive tract that have properties that protect you from future illness. These changes in bacterial balance can take over a year to recover from after one course of antibiotics.
2 AnswersThick, green or yellow mucus does not necessarily mean you need antibiotics. Mucus is often thicker in the morning after pooling and drying in the nose overnight, and you might notice that the mucus becomes clearer throughout the day. Signs that you may need an antibiotic include symptoms for greater than 10 to 14 days, initial improvement in symptoms followed by sudden worsening, severe sinus pain or tenderness and fever. Please see your doctor for further evaluation if these symptoms are present.