How long do antibiotics fight infection?
Antibiotics are used to help our bodies fight bad infections. These vital drugs are prescribed for the treatment of various diseases.
Numerous reports indicate that overuse and misuse of antibiotics are major contributors to antibiotic resistance (when an antibiotic fails to counteract certain strains of bacteria), requiring that drugs be used correctly to reduce this resistance.
But as many countries have joined the fight to prevent antibiotic resistance, these drugs are no longer used to treat all types of infections.
Here’s everything you need to know about antibiotics:
How long does it take for antibiotics to work?
Antibiotics kill bacteria or stop them from spreading, but they do not work against viral infections, including colds, flu, COVID, lung and ear infections in children, and most cases of coughs and sore throats.
In most cases, it will only be given to you if the bacterial infection has not gone away, or if you are a candidate for infecting others.
These medicines may also be prescribed if the infection takes too long to clear up on its own or if it is at risk for more serious complications.
According to Mike Hewitson, a Bristol pharmacist, antibiotics work as soon as the patient starts taking them, but they may not feel better immediately, and it can take about 3 days or more.
“How quickly you start to take effect depends on the type and strength of the antibiotic you’re using and the infection you’re treating,” explains Mike. “But some oral antibiotics can take weeks or so to work.”
Most antibiotics should be taken within 7 to 14 days. In some cases, treatment may be prescribed for a shorter period. Your doctor will determine the best length of treatment and the type of antibiotic that is right for you.
And if you start to feel better, it might be tempting to stop taking the antibiotics — but don’t, Mike explains: “It’s very important to finish the course of antibiotics, even if you’re no longer infected and feel better. Because not up to the end of the course can lead to re-infection.
It also exacerbates the problem of antibiotic resistance. Therefore, do not stop taking antibiotics without consulting your doctor before the end of the period recommended by him.
And if you forget to take your antibiotic at the right time, it’s not the end of the world. Take that dose as soon as you remember and continue taking your antibiotics as usual.
You should not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose, as this may increase the risk of side effects.
When do you expect to feel better while taking antibiotics and are there any side effects?
At the end of the recommended course of treatment, most people will feel better, but this can vary from person to person, says Mike. Badly. Antibiotics can make you feel sick or upset your stomach.”
If you have completed the recommended treatment and do not see any signs of improvement, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.