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Antibiotics: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Cost

Last Updated: Jul 04, 2023

What is Antibiotic Therapy?

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Antibiotic therapy is the use of antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection. It is usually prescribed by a doctor when other treatments, such as lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications, have failed to work.

What are the Types of Antibiotic therapy?

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There are several types of antibiotic therapy, including:

  • Empiric therapy: This type of antibiotic treatment is used when the specific type of infection is not known. The antibiotic is chosen based on the most likely type of infection and the patient's risk factors.
  • Prophylactic therapy: This type of antibiotic treatment is used to prevent infections in people who are at a high risk of developing them, such as those with weakened immune systems.
  • Specific therapy: This type of antibiotic treatment is used when the specific type of infection is known. The antibiotic is chosen based on the type of bacteria that is causing the infection.
  • Combination therapy: This type of antibiotic treatment involves using more than one antibiotic at a time. This approach is often used to treat infections that are resistant to a single antibiotic.
  • Maintenance therapy: This type of antibiotic treatment is used to prevent the recurrence of a chronic infection. It involves taking antibiotics for a prolonged period of time.

What are benefits of Antibiotic therapy

  • Antibiotics can help to reduce the severity and duration of bacterial infections.
  • They can be used to prevent infections in people who are at risk, such as those undergoing surgery or chemotherapy.
  • They can also be used to treat chronic conditions such as acne, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease.
  • Antibiotics can help reduce the risk of developing more serious illnesses like sepsis or pneumonia by killing off harmful bacteria before they have a chance to spread throughout the body.
  • They can be used to treat certain types of parasites, such as tapeworms and roundworms, that cannot be treated with other medications.
  • In some cases, antibiotics may even help to prevent certain types of cancer from developing or progressing by killing off cancer-causing bacteria in the body before they have a chance to cause harm.

Why is Antibiotic therapy done ?

  • Antibiotic therapy is a type of medical treatment that uses antibiotics to treat bacterial infections.
  • It is used to eliminate or reduce the number of bacteria in the body, which can help prevent and treat illnesses caused by bacterial infections.
  • Antibiotic therapy can also be used to prevent infection after surgery or other medical procedures.


What are the risks of using Antibiotic therapy?

  • Allergic reactions: Antibiotics can cause allergic reactions in some people, ranging from mild rashes to severe anaphylaxis.
  • Drug interactions: Antibiotics can interact with other medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, resulting in serious side effects.
  • Superinfections: Taking antibiotics can lead to the overgrowth of certain bacteria or fungi that are not affected by the antibiotic, causing a secondary infection.
  • Disruption of the gut microbiome: The use of antibiotics may disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in the gut microbiome, leading to digestive issues such as diarrhoea or bloating.
  • Resistance: Overuse and misuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, in which bacteria become resistant to certain antibiotics and are more difficult to treat.

How do I prepare for Antibiotic therapy?

Before beginning antibiotic therapy it is important for patients to talk with their doctor about any allergies they may have and any medications they are currently taking in order to avoid any potential drug interactions or allergic reactions.

Patients should also discuss any lifestyle changes that may be necessary during treatment such as avoiding alcohol consumption or making dietary modifications if needed.

How is Antibiotic therapy done ?

The procedure for antibiotic therapy typically involves taking one or more doses of an antibiotic either orally (by mouth) or intravenously (through an IV).

The dose and length of treatment will depend on the type and severity of infection being treated as well as individual patient factors such as age and weight.

Steps to follow before the Antibiotic therapy

  • A detailed medical history and a physical exam should be obtained to identify the underlying cause of the infection, and laboratory tests, such as blood tests and cultures, should be obtained to diagnose the infection and determine which antibiotic will be most effective against it.
  • Potential drug interactions with other medications that the patient may be taking should be considered, as well as any potential allergies or sensitivities that the patient may have to certain antibiotics or classes of antibiotics.
  • Adverse effects from antibiotic therapy, including allergic reactions, gastrointestinal upset, and changes in kidney or liver function tests should be monitored.
  • Patients should also be educated about proper use of antibiotics and adherence to prescribed doses and durations of therapy should be emphasised.

Steps to follow during the Antibiotic therapy

  • Follow your doctor's instructions for taking antibiotics, including the type, dosage, and duration of the course of treatment.
  • Take the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if you feel better before it is finished. Stopping too soon can make bacteria resistant to the antibiotic in the future.
  • Take antibiotics with food if they upset your stomach or cause nausea.
  • Drink plenty of fluids while taking antibiotics to keep your body hydrated and help flush out any toxins released by bacteria as they die off.
  • Avoid alcohol while taking antibiotics as it can reduce their effectiveness and increase side effects such as nausea or dizziness.

Steps to follow after the Antibiotic therapy

  • Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any side effects from taking antibiotics, such as rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face/throat/tongue/lips, yellowing of skin/eyes, fever, chills or other unusual symptoms that may be related to an allergic reaction or a more serious side effect from taking the antibiotic medication itself (such as Clostridium difficile colitis).
  • Finally, it is also important to practise good hygiene habits such as washing hands regularly and avoiding contact with people who are sick.

What is the cost of Antibiotic therapy in India ?

The cost for an antibiotic prescription varies depending on type , dosage , length required etc. but typically ranges from Rs 500 - Rs 1000 per 10 tablets.

What to eat after Antibiotic therapy?

  • After completing a course of antibiotics, it is important to eat foods that are rich in probiotics, such as yoghurt and kefir.
  • These foods can help replenish the beneficial bacteria in your gut that may have been killed off by antibiotics.
  • It is also important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are high in fibre and other essential nutrients. Eating a variety of these foods can help support a healthy immune system and aid digestion.
  • Eating lean proteins such as fish, chicken, and eggs can also be beneficial after taking antibiotics as they provide essential amino acids for tissue repair and healing.
  • Foods high in zinc, such as nuts, seeds, oysters, beans, lentils, and whole grains are also beneficial for restoring balance to the gut microbiome after taking antibiotics.

Is Antibiotic therapy safe?

Yes when taken under proper guidance by a qualified medical practitioner then yes generally speaking its considered safe however every individual has different reactions so please consult your physician before starting anything new!

Is Antibiotic therapy painful ?

Generally no however some people might experience slight discomfort depending on type / strength / dosage etc so please consult your physician before starting anything new!

How long does recovery take from Antibiotic therapy?

Recovery time depends on various factors such as type/strength/dosage etc but generally speaking most people start feeling better within 1-2 days however complete recovery usually takes around 7 days once a full course has been completed.

What are side effects of Antibiotic therapy?

Common side effects associated with antibiotics include nausea vomiting diarrhoea rash abdominal pain headache dizziness fatigue joint pain & muscle aches.These usually go away once medication has been stopped.

However some people might experience more serious side effects like allergic reactions so please consult your physician immediately if you experience these!

Antibiotic therapy Aftercare

  • Follow doctor's instructions: Patients should take their antibiotics as prescribed by their doctor, even if they start feeling better before finishing the entire course. This will help ensure that all of the bacteria are killed and prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.
  • Follow up: Patients should also follow up with their doctor after completing a course of antibiotics to make sure that the infection has been completely treated and to discuss any side effects they may have experienced while taking antibiotics.
  • Notice signs: If a patient experiences any side effects or notices any changes in their health during or after taking antibiotics, they should contact their doctor immediately for further evaluation and treatment.
  • Hygiene: Patients should practise good hygiene habits such as washing hands often, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and cleaning surfaces regularly to reduce the risk of infection in the future.


Antibiotic therapy is an important tool for treating bacterial infections, but it is not a cure-all. It is important to take antibiotics only when prescribed by a doctor and to complete the full course of treatment as directed.

It is important to be aware of antibiotic resistance and how it can limit the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy. By being responsible with antibiotic use, healthcare providers and patients alike can help reduce the risk of resistance and ensure that antibiotics remain an effective tool for treating bacterial infections.

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Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
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Reviewed ByDr. Bhupindera Jaswant SinghMD - Consultant PhysicianGeneral Physician

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