How Do Antibiotics Work?

We use antibiotics to fight bacterial infections. These medications treat infections by decreasing or killing the bacteria. Thanks to antibiotics, erstwhile fatal infections are now curable. But how long do antibiotics take to work? This blog will address how antibiotics work and how soon they work. Let’s get started!

How do antibiotics work against bacteria?

Antibiotics treat infections by killing bacteria or slowing their growth. They do so by attacking the wall surrounding bacteria, reducing their reproduction, and restricting protein production in bacteria.

How long do antibiotics take to work?

Antibiotics typically show improvements against bacterial infections within 1-3 days, depending on the illness. You might not feel better instantly because some of the symptoms are caused by your body’s immune response. Your immune system can take time to calm down once harmful bacteria are eliminated.

Patients should take antibiotics for 7-14 days. But in some cases, shorter treatments can work fine as well. The duration of the treatment depends on what length of treatment and antibiotic type your doctor decides. Even though you might feel better within a couple of days of treatment, it is advisable to finish the entire course to treat your infection fully. Otherwise, you might contribute to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Steps to decrease inappropriate antibiotic use

  • Use antibiotics only to treat bacterial infections.
  • Take antibiotics as prescribed/directed by your healthcare professional.
  • Take the right antibiotic to avoid antibiotic resistance.

What are antibiotics used to treat?

Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. Sometimes, the symptoms caused by a virus and bacteria are similar. So it can be difficult to determine the cause. Therefore, we advise you to visit your healthcare professional. They will evaluate your condition and conduct an exam to determine the cause of your infection. They can also require a urine or blood test to confirm the causes.

Here are some common bacterial infections that are treated by antibiotics:

  • Strep throat
  • Ear or sinus infections
  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)

You should not use antibiotics to treat infections caused by viruses or fungi, including:

  • Common cold or flu
  • Fungal toenail infections
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Yeast infections
  • Ringworm

To treat diseases caused by viruses and fungi, you may require to take antiviral and antifungal drugs, respectively.

Common side effects of antibiotics

The wrong use of antibiotics can cause the following side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Indigestion and bloating
  • Loss of appetite

How to take antibiotics effectively?

Antibiotics are very effective if you use them appropriately. Start by making sure you’re using them for the right purpose, which is for a bacterial infection. Also, It would be best to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the best way to take these medications. That’s because patients should take some antibiotics with food and others with an empty stomach to reduce side effects. Also, make sure you’re taking the prescribed amount for the directed length of treatment. Even if you feel better within a few days, ask your doctor before stopping the treatment early.

If you’re feeling sick or need medical counseling, talk to your internist in Houston. Schedule an appointment with Aqeeq Internal Medicine by calling (832) 786-8195.