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Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea Tips

Antibiotics - What Should You Know?

Antibiotics - What Should You Know?

Antibiotics have been the bed rock of modern medicine. Modern medicine (cancer chemotherapy, placement of implants, joint replacement, transplant) have been based on the premise that infections could be treated. But today these magic bullets are beaten by bacteria & we are facing antibiotic resistance as a global threat. To save them, we must use antibiotics only when needed, also use a narrower spectrum possible & for the right dose and duration. Most Upper respiratory tract infections or diarrhoea may be viral and may not require antibiotics.

Antibiotics, earlier referred as wonder drugs, are derived from bacterium and are used to cure bacterial infections. These antibiotics cannot be used to cure viral infections. Therefore, they must be used only when prescribed by any physician. Ever since its inception, antibiotics have gained importance in medicinal field. Other than curing bacterial infection, they have also been widely used in preventing an infection.

Below is the list of some commonly used antibiotics along with their usage-

  1. PENICILLINS- It is one of the earliest antibiotics to be discovered. Penicillin finds its use in curing ear infections, dental infections, skin infections, gonorrhea and urinary tract infections. If combined with beta-lactamase inhibitors, penicillin gets shielded by the attack of other damaging bacterium enzymes.
  2. AMINOGLYCOSIDES- This antibiotic is majorly used in treating pneumonia, typhus etc. This particular antibiotic comes with its own array of side-effects like damage to kidneys and ears. Therefore, it must be injected only if prescribed.
  3. SULFONAMIDES- These sulfa drugs are pivotal in curing kidney infections. They too have side effects. Excessive intake of sulfa drugs can hamper the functioning of your kidneys.
  4. FLUOROQUINOLONES- This antibiotic is used in treating urinal tract infections, skin infections and several kind of respiratory diseases like bronchitis, sinusitis and pneumonia. Owing to its side effects, this drug must not be given to children and pregnant ladies. Higher dosage may lead to a severe kind of nerve impairment, known as peripheral neuropathy. Additionally, they may also hinder bone growth.
  5. CEPHALOSPORINS- Alongside its usage in surgical prophylaxis, Cephalosporin can also be used in curing bronchitis, pneumonia, step throat, otitis, tonsillitis, gonorrhea etc.
  6. MACROLIDES- Macrolides serve as an alternative drug to penicillin. It can be used to treat all sort of respiratory infections, genital infections and gastrointestinal infections. Excessive intake of macrolides can cause gastrointestinal problems.
  7. TETRACYCLINES- Tetracyclines can be a remedy for malarial infections, syphilis and chlamydial infections. Additionally, they are also used for curing Rocky Mountain spotted fever, respiratory tract infections, Lyme disease, urinary tract infections, typhus and sexually transmitted disease. Due to its side-effects, they must not be consumed by children and pregnant ladies.

ANTIBIOTICS USED FOR ANTIBIOTIC PROPHYLAXIS-

As mentioned earlier, antibiotics can also be used for preventing any infection while undergoing any kind of surgery. Antibiotic Prophylaxis is usually used when the patient is going to have breast surgery or joint replacement surgery or pacemaker surgery or cataract surgery or glaucoma surgery. Such medical procedures make the patient body highly prone to infections. Therefore, antibiotics are used to safeguard the patient's organs.

Note that Antibiotics should not be used for common cold as most are viral Dengue & Chikungunya. Also, unnecessary antibiotics result in side effects like drug rash, diarrhoea & other problems.

The abovementioned applications of antibiotics highlight its importance. But since the antibiotics have their side-effects, so it is advisable to undertake antibiotics only after consulting any physician.

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Long-Term Antibiotic Use May Impact You!

Long-Term Antibiotic Use May Impact You!

Antibiotics are taken to treat a host of bacterial infections. From fevers to fungal infections, doctors prescribe antibiotics to deal with the symptoms. Usually, a single course of antibiotics must be taken for the cold or the flu to completely heal. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections; they do not do anything for viral infections.

1. Antibiotics and Good Bacteria
Antibiotics kill bacteria. Antibiotics do not discriminate between good bacteria and their bad peers. Thus, they end up killing the good bacteria as well. The microbiomes in the gut are the good bacteria in your body that aid in digestion. Certain antibiotics can change the entire microbial diversity in the gut and this change can last for a year. Clindamycin, another antibiotic, can kill butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid produced by microbes. In the gut, the butyrate prevents carcinogenesis, inflammation and oxidative stress.

2. Resistance to Bacteria
Like every living organism, bacteria too evolve and adapt to the surroundings. They mutate and respond to the changes in the environment, thus leading to bacterial resistance. Some bacteria mutate and survive antibiotic treatments. These bacteria reproduce and the resistance strain gets passed on to the next generation which, in turn, makes the new bacteria desensitised to antibiotics.

When you get infected again-

i. The infection lasts longer, thus the disease may become serious
ii. There are more complications which tend to further increase every single time you are prescribed a new course of antibiotics
iii. If the infection lasts longer, then the chances of you infecting others also become higher
iv. Recovery takes longer

However, there are a few other things to be considered as well:

i. Taking antibiotics if you have a viral infection is not a smart thing to do. The antibiotics do nothing to kill the virus.
ii. However, if your bacterial infection has been plaguing you since a long time, doctors generally prescribe antibiotics every time. This is because, no matter what their downsides are, antibiotics do help you in recovering from various bacterial complications, at times, permanently.
 

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Diarrhea In Children - How Can It Be Treated?

Diarrhea In Children - How Can It Be Treated?

Diarrhea occurs when the body is expelling germs out of it. An episode of diarrhea can last anywhere from a couple of days to a week. Dehydration, cramps, vomiting, nausea and fever often accompany diarrhea. Usually, children tend to get diarrhoea more than adults.

Diarrhea treatment according to causes behind it

  1. Treating diarrhea due to infectionSome common causes of diarrhea include infection from rotavirus, salmonella (a type of bacteria) and rarely giardia (a type of parasite). In children, virus is a common cause of diarrhea. Besides watery or loose stools, viral gastroenteritis infection symptoms include fever, headache, stomach ache and vomiting. Gastroenteritis diarrhoea can last for 5-14 days. During this time, fluid loss must be prevented. In younger children, oral rehydration solution (ORS) or breast milk is enough. Just feeding them water won’t replenish the potassium, sodium and other nutrients they lose. Older children, to prevent fluid loss, can be given ORS and popsicles to counter dehydration and vomiting.
  2. Treating diarrhea due to medications: Antibiotics or laxatives can cause diarrhea in children. If the diarrhea is mild, make sure your child is hydrated. If the antibiotics are causing diarrhoea, you need to continue medication, but do consult your doctor immediately.
  3. Treating diarrhea due to food poisoningWhen it comes to food poisoning induced diarrhea, the same method as countering infection-induced diarrhea should be followed. Keep your child hydrated and call your doctor.

Diarrhea and children - recognising dehydration

The most serious complication of diarrhea is dehydration, especially if the diarrhea is severe. Severe dehydration is critical as it can cause brain damage, seizure, even death. Your child may need immediate medical attention, if you notice the following symptoms:

  1. Light-headedness and dizziness
  2. Sticky, dark mouth
  3. Dark yellow urine
  4. No or few tears when crying
  5. Dry, cool skin
  6. Loss of energy

When should you visit a doctor

Diarrhea resolves within a few days, but it can have serious complications. Call your doctor if you notice signs such as:
1. Looks very sick
2. Diarrhea has persisted for more than 3 days
3. Your child is less than 6 months old
4. Your child is vomiting bloody yellow or green fluid
5. Seems dehydrated
6. The fever reads above 105 degree Fahrenheit
7. Bloody stools
8. Rashes
9. Stomach pain persists for more than 2 hours
10. Infrequent urination

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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