Antibiotics - Uses and Side Effects

Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. They work by killing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria.
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Available with a prescription from healthcare providers
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Prepared by Shruti Sahoo, reviewed by Dr. Eugene Smith

Antibiotics FAQ

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What are antibiotics used for?

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. Some are highly specialised and are only effective against certain bacteria. Others, known as broad-spectrum antibiotics, attack a wide range of bacteria, including ones that are beneficial to us. There are two main ways in which antibiotics target bacteria.

What are antibiotics & anti-infectives?

From treatments for painful strep throat or ear infections as a child, to burning urinary tract infections or itchy skin infections as an adult, antibiotics are one of the most highly utilized and important medication classes we have in medicine. Understanding the vast world of antibiotics and anti-infectives is no easy task.

What is the role of antibiotics in the treatment of bacterial infections?

It is the most important type of antibacterial agent for fighting bacterial infections, and antibiotic medications are widely used in the treatment and prevention of such infections. They may either kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria. A limited number of antibiotics also possess antiprotozoal activity.

What is an antibiotic & how does it work?

An antibiotic is a type of antimicrobial substance active against bacteria. It is the most important type of antibacterial agent for fighting bacterial infections, and antibiotic medications are widely used in the treatment and prevention of such infections. They may either kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria.

How are antibiotics given?

Most antibiotics are given by mouth, either as a liquid or a tablet. Some antibiotics can be applied directly to the eyes as eye drops or ointment. If you are in hospital, you might be given antibiotics through a drip (intravenously). Your doctor will choose the best way for you to receive your medicine.

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