All about antibiotics in 7 minutes!

In this video and in this article you will find:

- The definition of an antibiotic

- The different types of antibiotics

- How do antibiotics work?

- The uses of antibiotics

- What are the signs and symptoms of a bacterial infection

- What is an antibiotic susceptibility test used for?

- Antibiotics in a viral infection

- Why antibiotics are not automatic ?

- The main side effects of antibiotics and how to deal with them

- Recommendations for taking antibiotics

Antibiotics are a class of drugs widely used to treat infections.

However, they should not be abused, as they may lose their effectiveness over the long term.

Antibiotics are substances produced naturally or chemically in the laboratory.

They are used to fight against the presence and multiplication of bacteria.

Bactericidal substances cause the elimination of bacteria.

Bacteriostatic substances limit the multiplication of bacteria.

Bacteria are living micro-organisms consisting of a single cell (unicellular).

They are present in our body, they constitute our intestinal, oral (mouth) and vaginal bacterial flora. They are also found in our environment (soil, water, plants, ...).

Some of them can be pathogenic, that is to say that they can cause infections in different conditions.

Unlike viruses, they are autonomous. They can reproduce and develop on their own whereas viruses need to enter a cell called host cell to produce their proteins and multiply. Viruses use the material of the host cell for their survival and development.

Antibiotics only work on bacteria. They cannot fight viral infections (caused by viruses).

However, they can be prescribed for some people with viral infections, such as the flu, as a preventive measure to avoid bacterial superinfection (a bacterial infection on top of the viral infection), which could further worsen the person's condition.

They are prescribed by the doctor when the person has symptoms that reflect a bacterial infection (fever, fatigue, release of secretions, inflammation that hurts, abscesses, swollen and painful lymph nodes, etc.).

Blood tests can also identify the presence of an infection, particularly by the increase in the number of white blood cells (immune cells that defend our body against infections).

The analysis of secretions and urine allows to look specifically for the bacteria that caused the infection. This research is useful for the doctor to prescribe an antibiotic adapted to the patient.

An antibiogram may be requested. This is to see which antibiotics are most effective against the bacteria that caused the infection. 

There are many classes of antibiotics. They are classified according to: their chemical formula, their mode of action and their ability to act on different types of bacteria.

Beta-lactams (penicillins, amoxicillin, cephalosporins) are widely used to treat or prevent infections of the bronchial tubes (bronchitis), nose, throat (angina), ears (otitis), teeth and gums (oral infections), but also to fight urinary infections.

This class of antibiotics can be used in case of pregnancy or breastfeeding.

The other classes of antibiotics are macrolides (azythromycin, ...), aminoglycosides (gentamicin, ...), cyclins (doxycycline, ...) and quinolones (ciprofloxacin, ...).

Please let me know in the comments of the video if you would like to have more information about these classes of antibiotics.

The main modes of action of antibiotics are to destroy the protective wall that surrounds the bacteria or to prevent the reactions that take place inside the bacteria for its survival.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that antibiotics will not reduce fever or pain at the moment.

To limit these symptoms, it is necessary to take an antipyretic (fever reducer) such as paracetamol and/or an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) if the pain is related to an inflammation. These medications should be taken with the advice of your doctor or pharmacist.

Antibiotics only help to destroy pathogenic bacteria and prevent them from multiplying.

 It is very important to follow the dosage (number of tablets or capsules to be taken according to the time of day and during a determined number of days) even if the symptoms disappear before the end of the treatment to destroy all the bacteria responsible for the infection.

It is important to know that bacteria have the ability to develop resistance to antibiotics.

This is why antibiotics are not automatic,

The more bacteria are in contact with these substances, the more there is a risk of ineffectiveness of these molecules in the long term. The drugs that can be used to treat these different infections are becoming very limited.

The main side effects of taking antibiotics are diarrhea, allergy and nausea,

The diarrhea and stomach aches that appear after taking antibiotics are due to the fact that these substances can also act on the bacteria located in our intestinal flora by destabilizing it.

Taking ultra-yeast, yogurt or probiotics helps to rebalance the intestinal bacterial flora, which has been destabilized by taking antibiotics, and to reduce the side effects (diarrhea, stomach aches).

Moreover, it is recommended to take antibiotics with water, during meals and at the same time to limit these side effects and not to forget to take them.

Do not open the capsules or crush the tablets in order to avoid changes in the dose of antibiotic that must be ingested.

I urge you not to self-medicate with antibiotics. If you ever want to take them, it is imperative to ask your doctor's advice.

If you observe the slightest sign of allergy (red patches, itching, etc.) following the use of an antibiotic, you must stop taking it and contact your doctor immediately,

Finally, you should know that antibiotics also have an expiration date, you should not consume them beyond this date.

Dr Noura Marrai (Doctor of Pharmacy, YouTuber Health, creator of the health well-being Pharmaquiz application),

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