Winter is here which means you might get the flu, a cold or a sinus infection and you will most likely just go to your doctor to prescribe you antibiotics. It is important to know that antibiotics are very powerful medication and shouldn’t be taken unless you have a bacterial infection that does not clear up on its own. The truth is that antibiotics actually don’t work against viral infections such as the cold or flu. Taking antibiotics when you don’t really need them can cause them not to work in the future when you do really need them. Not to mention the fact that antibiotics have many possible deadly allergic reactions and side effects. It is important to try to avoid antibiotics if possible, here are a few ways of doing so:
- If you have a cold or the flu ask your doctor for over-the-counter pain relievers, throat soothers, and/or decongestants to ease your symptoms
- Just because you have an infection caused by bacteria doesn’t necessarily mean you need antibiotics. If your symptoms are mild, ask your physician if you can delay the treatment for a few days because in many cases you may be able to fight off the infection without antibiotics
- Avoid broad spectrum antibiotics because they kill off all bacteria in your body including the protective kind.
- You can ask your physician to only prescribe you antibiotics for the shortest amount of time possible. A lot of the time treatments don’t have to be as long.
- If antibiotics are unavoidable, watch out for any possible side effects. Be sure to read the informative pamphlet that accompanies your prescription.