Debunking the Myth: Antibiotics Cure Everything
A common kid’s medication, antibiotics are used to treat everything from the common cold to the flu. However, they can’t cure everything.
Antibiotics can be rather harmful, especially to those who develop drug-resistant infections or get bad reactions to them.
An estimated 70,000 children go to the emergency room every year because of such severe reactions. In most cases, the drugs were prescribed by their pediatrician.
Antibiotics Are Not Always the Answer
Antibiotics are not effective for treating colds, flu, and other viruses. They are intended for killing bacteria, fungi, and other organisms that have infected the body; still, they’re among the most often prescribed medications for children. Yet antibiotic treatment has no effect on a viral illness or its symptoms. The drug cannot act on the virus’s structure or enzymes, leaving it to grow and thrive or simply run its course with no relief of symptoms.
The effects of antibiotics are another concern for anyone who takes them. People, especially children, are at risk for adverse reactions. When bacteria become resistant, that leaves anyone prone to a difficult-to-treat, even life-threatening, illness. Stronger medications and more intensive medical care are often needed, which can be more expensive and can trigger more serious side effects.
A study by the CDC tracked about 6,500 emergency department visits. Published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society in August 2018, it found that:
- Antibiotics caused two-thirds of drug reactions in children aged 2 and under.
- Antibiotic reactions accounted for half of all emergency room visits for kids under 19.
- Amoxicillin reactions caused the most visits involving children aged 9 and under.
Most patients had just mild reactions. Researchers have also found that one-third of pediatric antibiotic prescriptions are totally unnecessary. Too many kids are at risk for an antibiotic reaction. Signs of an amoxicillin reaction can include:
- Skin rash
- Face/tongue/lip swelling
- Breathing problems
- Trouble urinating
When Antibiotics Are Necessary
Antibiotics treat illnesses caused by bacteria such as strep throat, urinary tract infections, and certain types of pneumonia. They also help people with sinus or ear infections caused by bacteria and not viruses.
The best way to avoid an antibiotic allergy is to avoid exposure. Antibiotics should be taken only when necessary, which means only if you have a bacterial infection. For children, use prescription and over-the-counter medications only as directed by a physician or pharmacist. Keep the safety caps on and make sure medications are out of reach of young children.
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For adults and children, there are other ways to protect the body against bacteria and viruses. Cold-Fix targets the body’s natural defenses, using diluted antibodies to trigger cell growth in the immune system. The body can then better fight off infections. Cold-Fix also eliminates concerns about an antibiotic reaction and the unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics.
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