When Is Taking An Antibiotic Necessary?

In the past when you took your child to the doctor for some type of medical issue the doctor typically prescribed an antibiotic in order to make them well.

It has come to the attention of the medical community in recent years that antibiotics have been over prescribed, especially in the case of children.

Now many doctors will hesitate to prescribe an antibiotic unless they are sure the infection is bacterial and not viral.antibiotic

What Type of Medical Conditions Require an Antibiotic?

Most children when they become ill do so from a viral infection and antibiotics don’t work to treat their condition. Bacterial infections on the other hand require antibiotics to treat them such as sinus infections or an ear infections.

If your child has whooping cough, croup, a cold or strep throat, antibiotics will do nothing to treat the problem. Even some cases of diarrhea, vomiting and bronchitis are not bacterial infections but viral infections and will not be affected by the use of antibiotics.

The Overuse of Antibiotics

When antibiotics are overused they will often lose their effectiveness. This in turn causes the medical community to research stronger antibiotics to treat simple bacterial infections from those they used in the past. Many strains of bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics because of their overuse.

When Your Child Requires an Antibiotic

If the doctor prescribes your child an antibiotic follow these tips to ensure the proper treatment to rid your child of a bacterial infection:

  • Never stop the antibiotic even when your child is feeling better. Continue the course of medicine until it is finished to ensure that the bacterial infection does not reemerge.
  • Throw away any leftover antibiotic. Don’t share antibiotics with others either. If one takes only a partial dose of antibiotic treatment it may result in bacterial resistance to the medicine.
  • Carefully observe how your child handles taking a particular antibiotic. Watch for signs of a rash, upset stomach and diarrhea. If your child experiences any negative reactions to the antibiotic prescribed it may mean your child has an allergy to that particular medication.

Antibiotics are necessary to treat many types of illnesses and medical conditions but it is not always recommended they be taken. Your health care provider is aware of overprescribing antibiotics so on your next trip to the pediatrician with your sick child; don’t be alarmed if he is not prescribed an antibiotic.


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