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Flu Treatment With Antibiotics

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Are There Side Effects With Antiviral Drugs?

Side effects of antiviral drugs may include nervousness, poor concentration, nausea, and vomiting. Relenza is not recommended for people with a history of breathing problems, such as asthma, because it may cause a worsening of breathing problems. Discuss side effects with your doctor.

What Does Antibiotic Resistance Mean?

According to the CDC, antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria changes in some way to reduce or eliminate the effectiveness of the antibiotic.

When bacteria are exposed to antibiotics repeatedly, such as when you take the medication needlessly or too frequently, the germs in your body start to evolve. These changes can make the germs stronger than before so they completely resist the antibiotic. Your illness may linger with no signs of improvement. Or your illness may suddenly take a turn for the worse, requiring you to seek emergency medical care. You may have to be admitted to the hospital and get several different antibiotics administered in your veins. Sadly, those around you may get the resistant bacteria and come down with a similar illness that is very difficult to treat.

But Aren't Antibiotics Quick Cures for Illnesses?

Unfortunately, demand for a "quick fix" for what ails us has fueled this resistance crisis. In face, more than two-thirds of the 150 million antibiotic prescriptions written each year for patients outside of hospitals are unnecessary, according to a CDC study.

How Can I Protect my Family and Myself From Antibiotic Resistance?

There is a way to protect yourself and others from resistant bacteria, and that is to respect antibiotics and take them only when necessary for a bacterial infection. Here are some useful tips:

  1. When you see a doctor, don't demand antibiotics. Understand that antibiotics are used for bacterial infections, not symptoms of a cold or flu virus.
  2. If a doctor prescribes antibiotics, use them as prescribed. Take all of the antibiotics as directed and don't save some for future use.
  3. Don't share antibiotics with others.

Preventing the flu in the first place may help you avoid getting sick altogether. Get a flu shot annually. Also, make sure you wash your hands frequently and thoroughly to prevent spreading germs.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 20, 2013
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