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Antibiotics help to fight illnesses caused by bacterial infections. Another name for antibiotics is antibacterials. They either kill or decrease the growth of bacteria. In this article, we’ll learn the different forms of antibiotics, what they treat, and how long do they take to work?

Antibiotics have several classes. Certain types of antibiotics work against specific bacterias.

There are several forms of antibiotics, such as:

  • capsules
  • tablets
  • creams
  • liquids
  • ointments

To get most antibiotics, you need a prescription from your doctor. But you can easily get some antibiotic ointments and creams from a drug store.

How do antibiotics work against bacteria?

Antibiotics work against bacteria that cause infections by:

  • Damaging the reproduction of bacteria
  • Blocking the production of protein in bacteria
  • Attacking the wall around bacteria

How long do antibiotics take to work?

Antibiotics start working immediately after you take a dose. But you may not feel any major difference before 2-3 days.
How fast an individual gets better after taking antibiotics varies from person to person. And it also depends on the infection type for which you’re getting the treatment.

For most antibiotics, the required time for dosage intake is 7-14 days. For a few cases, less time is also enough. How long it will take for antibiotics to work for you will be best decided by your doctor.

It’s possible for you to feel good just after a few days of treatment. It’s advised to complete the course of antibiotics to eradicate the infection fully. This way, you can also avoid developing resistance to antibiotics. It’s better not to stop taking your antibiotic before talking to your physician.

What are antibiotics used to treat?

Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. Sometimes it becomes hard to distinguish if an infection is caused by bacteria or virus because they give similar symptoms.

Your doctor will examine your symptoms and carry out a physical exam to find the actual cause of the infection. In some cases, your doctor may ask for blood or urine tests to determine the reason behind your infection.

Here are some common infections caused by bacteria:

  • sinus
  • ear infections
  • strep throat
  • urinary tract infections

Antibiotics don’t fight viruses such as flu or the common cold. Moreover, they aren’t effective against fungal infections such as:

  • athlete’s foot
  • fungal toenail infections
  • yeast infections
  • Ringworm

For infection caused by a fungus, your doctor will prescribe antifungals.

What are the common side effects of antibiotics?

Almost all antibiotics have the same side effects. But the most common is gastrointestinal upset, which includes:

  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • cramps

You can reduce the side effects of antibiotics if you take them with food. But some work best with an empty stomach. Ask your physician the best way to take yours.

How to effectively take antibiotics?

You should take antibiotics in the prescribed amount and for the length directed by your doctor. You may feel better a few days after taking medication but talk to your doctor before stopping the treatment.

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