Common Q Quick A Antibiotics


source : http://lib.cpums.edu.cn/jiepou/tupu/atlas/www.vh.org/pediatric/patient/pediatrics/cqqa/antibioticsandkids.html

What are antibiotics?

  • Antibiotics are strong medicines used to treat sicknesses called infections
  • Infections can be caused by germs called bacteria, or viruses.
  • Antibiotics kill bacteria only. They do not kill viruses.
  • When used properly, they can save lives.
  • When not used properly, they could hurt your child.

What kinds of germs make your child sick?

  • There are two main types of germs: bacteria and

    viruses
  • Viral illnesses are much more common than bacterial illnesses
    • Examples of viral infections:
      • All colds
      • All croup
      • All influenza (flu)
      • Chicken pox
      • Most coughs
      • Most fevers
      • Most sore throats
      • Most sore throats
        • Examples of bacterial infections:
          • Many ear infections
          • Most sinus infections
          • Some pneumonia
          • Strep throat
          • Urinary tract infections
          • Whooping cough (pertussis)

How do antibiotics work?

          • Bacteria and viruses spread very differently. This is why antibiotics work on bacteria, but not on viruses.
          • Bacteria live by themselves. They have a protective cell wall around them. They enter our body and make more of themselves. This causes us to get sick. Antibiotics destroy the bacteriaճ protective cell walls and kill them.
          • Viruses cannot live by themselves. They do not have a protective cell wall. They enter the body, go into cells, and then make more of themselves inside the body’s cells. Antibiotics do not work on viruses because they do not have the protective cell wall. Viral infections will not get better with antibiotics!

When are antibiotics needed?

          • Antibiotics should only be used if your child has a bacterial infection.
          • Your child’s doctor will know if an antibiotic is needed.

What should I do if my child needs an antibiotic?

          • Ask your doctor if your child’s infection is caused by a bacteria or virus.
          • Talk to your child’s doctor about any worries you may have about antibiotics.
          • Wash your hands often to decrease the chances of getting sick or spreading the infection.
          • Make sure your child takes the exact amount of the antibiotic. The amount is based on your child’s weight. If your child takes too much or too little of the antibiotic, it may not work right.
          • Make sure your child takes ALL of the antibiotic that was given to him, even if he is feeling better.
          • If you are not sure about the amount to give, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
          • If you have other questions about the antibiotic, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

What is bacterial resistance?

          • Each time we take an antibiotic, some bacteria are killed. But other bacteria are not killed and learn to defend themselves against the antibiotic. These bacteria are called resistant.
          • Resistant bacteria happen when:
            • antibiotics are used too often
            • antibiotics are not taken the right way.

How can I help prevent bacterial resistance?

          • Do not demand that your child’s doctor give you an antibiotic for a viral infection.
          • Use antibiotics only when your child’s doctor says they are needed
          • Make sure your child takes the right amount of the antibiotic.
          • Make sure your child takes ALL of the antibiotic that was given to him
          • Do not take an antibiotic that was for someone else.
          • Do not give your child’s antibiotic to anyone else.
          • Do not take an old antibiotic that has been lying around the house. Throw out all old antibiotics.
          • There are three ways that you should throw out old antibiotics:
            • Throw them in the trash. Make sure you crush the pills and put them back into the original container. Tape the container shut and then put it in a bag. Put this bag in another bag to keep children and pets from getting into it
            • Take them to a local household hazardous waste collection site
            • Take them back to your pharmacy.

What are possible side effects of antibiotics?

          • Each antibiotic is different. Most have few side effects
          • The most common side effects are nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, or stomach pain.
          • Some people may be allergic to an antibiotic. They could get a rash, hives, or have problems breathing.
          • Be sure to tell your child’s doctor of any side effects.

What are the signs of a severe reaction to the antibiotic?

          • Your child could have problems breathing.
          • In some severe cases, he may stop breathing.

Call your doctor at once if your child has one of these reactions:

          • Problems breathing
          • Rash that is getting worse
          • Diarrhea and vomiting that is getting worse
          • Nausea or stomach pain that is bad

When should I call the doctor?

          • Call our doctor if your child is sick for more than a couple of days or if he is getting worse. Your child’s doctor can tell if the infection needs an antibiotic.
          • Call your doctor if your child gets a rash, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, or stomach pain after taking the antibiotic and is getting worse.
          • Call your doctor right away if your child has difficulty breathing after taking the antibiotic.
          • Call your doctor if your child’s infection does not start to get better in 2-3 days.
          • Call your doctor if you have any questions about your child’s condition.

Quick Answers

          • Antibiotics are strong medicines used to treat certain infections.
          • They kill bacteria only. They do not kill viruses
          • Antibiotics should only be used if your child has a bacterial infection.
          • Make sure your child takes the exact amount of the antibiotic. The amount is based on your child’s weight. If your child takes too much or too little of the antibiotic, it may not work right.
          • Make sure your child takes ALL of the antibiotic that was given to him, even if he is feeling better.
          • Each time we take an antibiotic, some bacteria are killed. But other bacteria learn to defend themselves against the antibiotic. These bacteria are called resistant.
          • Resistant bacteria happen when:
            • antibiotics are used too often
            • antibiotics are not taken the right way.
          • Most antibiotics have few side effects.
          • The most common side effects are nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, or stomach pain.
          • Some people may be allergic to an antibiotic. They could get a rash, hives, or have problems breathing.
          • Remember, antibiotics will only kill bacteria. They do not kill viruses.
          • Always use antibiotics wisely

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