How to deal with Side Effects of Antibiotics ?

How to Deal with Side Effects of Antibiotics?

Dealing with Common Side Effects of Antibiotics

What are Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are drugs that help treat  Infections brought about by Bacteria.  Typical diseases treated with Antibiotics  are bronchitis, pneumonia,bacterial sore throat and other infections as stomach infection or urinary tract infection.   

What are the different Side Effects of Antibiotics and How to Deal with them?

Stomach upset

Stomach pain or loose motions are one of the commonest side effects once you start an antibiotics course. These symptoms start as early as 1-2 days of initiating an antibiotic. Other associated side effects are gastritis, nausea , metallic taste, vomiting etc.  

How to deal with stomach upset condition?

Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether to take your antibiotic with food. Eating can help reduce stomach side effects. In some sensitive patients, doctors may prescribe probiotics to make the drug more tolerable

Photo sensitivity

It can  make your skin more prone to sunburn.

How to deal with Photo sensitivity condition?

Try to avoid the sun exposure as much as possible. Be sure to wear sunscreen, and reapply sunscreen as directed on the label. Also, wear protective clothing and accessories, such as a hat and sunglasses.

Headache :

Some antibiotics may cause headache and most of the time it won’t be severe enough and can be dealt with over the counter painkillers as paracetamol.   

Are there Serious side effects of the antibiotics which a Doctor may prescribe to me ?

Some of the main serious side effects include:

Allergic reactions 

Allergic reactions are possible with any medication. But some such as penicillin and septra are more notorious. Mostly allergic reactions are mild consisting of mild redness and itching on the skin and with transient red elevated wheels on the skin which itch a lot and may ooze (urticaria) Rarely allergic reactions may be severe enough needing hospitalisation or even admission into ICU.  Severe allergic reactions can be broadly seen as Anaphylaxis, Angioedema, Steven Johnson Syndrome. 

How to deal with Allergic reactions?

 If you have hives, stop taking the drug immediately and call your doctor.  The symptoms which warrant immediate hospital admission are dizziness, low blood pressure , cold hands and feet , high grade fever , swelling over lips and face and difficulty in breathing. 

Blood reactions

Some antibiotics cause change in your blood. It can cause bleeding, bruising, and slowed blood clotting, destruction of the red blood cells (haemolysis)  or decreased blood cells specially platelets. Some patients may be genetically more prone such as those with thalassemia or g6pd deficiency. 

How to deal with Blood reactions?

You can’t prevent these reactions though they are rare to happen. However, you’re at higher risk if you have a weakened immune system. If your immune system is weak, discuss it with your doctor before you take an antibiotic and your doctor may prescribe regular OPD visits and some basic tests which may be repeated more frequently if you are at high risk

Heart problems

In rare cases, certain antibiotics can cause heart problems such as an irregular heartbeat, abnormal heart rhythm  or low blood pressure.

How to prevent Heart problems?

If you have an existing heart condition, tell your doctor before you start taking any kind of antibiotic. Certain combinations of drugs with antibiotics may pose more risk due to combined toxicity. This information will help your doctor choose the right antibiotic for you.

Seizures

It’s very rare that antibiotics cause seizures. But antibiotics can increase the risk in patients who are at high risk of having seizures. Other reason can be decreasing the effect of anti-seizure drugs due to interaction with them. 

How to deal with Seizures disorder?

If you have epilepsy or a history of seizures or you are already taking anti-seizure medicines, be sure to tell your doctor before you start taking any kind of antibiotic. That way, your doctor can choose an antibiotic that won’t make your condition worse or interact with your seizure medications.

Words of wisdom

Antibiotics are a Double edged sword in a country like India where there are no strict antibiotics dispensing policies. You should be careful enough to get yourself treated by a specialist doctor only to avoid unnecessary antibiotic prescription and to avoid its side effects which can be dangerous sometimes .

Talk with your Best doctor in tricity at Respiderm. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics for you, know that there are ways to manage side effects.