Food, Drugs and Self-care Products

Proper use of antibiotics

Updated: Dec 25, 2018 Print
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Abuse of antibiotics may lead to various adverse reactions, secondary infections, and even bacterial resistance, resulting in a decreasing number of effective drugs available to humans to respond to infections caused by microorganisms. Therefore, it is recommended that you use antibiotics properly according to the actual situation.

Fundamental principles of antibiotic use:

1. Be in strict compliance with the applications. Antibiotics are used only when bacterial infections are diagnosed. Viral infections, unconditional prophylactic medication, and fever without signs of infection are not indicative of antibiotic use.

2. Choose the drug according to any sensitivity to drugs. Before taking an antibiotic you must know whether allergies have occurred in the past and whether other family members are allergic to antibiotics to avoid drugs that have induced adverse reactions before. If it is not clear whether you are allergic to the drug, skin tests should be conducted. In addition, those able to take medicine orally should first follow that procedure before using the intravenous alternative.

3. Take the medicine on time and stop in time. Patients should be in strict accordance with the doctor's advice in the prescribed time to take sufficient drugs. Reducing privately the frequency or dosage of medication would both damage the efficacy and make pathogenic bacteria susceptible to drug resistance. Antibiotics can be stopped when symptoms of infection disappear. But some particularly serious infections also need to be treated for a period of time after symptoms disappear.

4. Antibiotics should be used with caution in special groups. Children, the elderly, pregnant women and special patients with liver and kidney dysfunction should read the instructions carefully and seek professional medical help to avoid adverse reactions and recurrence of the original disease.

5. If two or more antibiotics must be used together to enhance the antibacterial effect, patients should avoid any combination that would cause toxic reaction multiplication or adversely influence the cumulative curative effect.

6. Pay attention to the effect of food on drugs. When taking certain antibiotics, patients should avoid alcohol or alcoholic products (yellow wine, beer, wine chocolate, etc), as well as skin disinfection with alcohol or scrubbing for cooling. Some alkaline foods, such as soda crackers and beer, enhance erythromycin's efficacy, while others, such as grapefruit and orange juice, reduce erythromycin's efficacy by inducing faster metabolism of erythromycin in the body.


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