Antibiotics are major lifesavers fighting against bacterial infections saving millions of lives across the globe.

Thanks to major medical advancements, antibiotics revolutionized the world of medicine in 20th century and helped medical fraternity in successfully dealing with various chronic health conditions.

The first ever antibiotic medicine was invented by Sir Alexander Fleming in 1929 after he discovered enzyme lysozyme and antibiotic substance penicillin. This broadened the new horizons in the field of antibiotics and today antibiotics are not medicines but are also available in various forms like antiseptic drugs, antibacterial soaps and chemical disinfectants.

Antibiotics are prescription medicines and doctors caution discretion while using it for various diseases and ailments. Self-medication is a strict no-no when it comes to antibiotics and it is important to learn several facts associated with these powerful medications.

November 13 to 19 is observed as Antibiotics Awareness Week across the world by the medical practitioners. On this occasion, let us know about the common misconceptions and facts related to antibiotics.

Myth:

Antibiotics Treat Colds And Flu

Fact:

Antibiotics do not act against common colds and flu as they are caused by viruses. Common cold, cough, sore throat, fever, are caused due to viruses. Doctors recommend waiting for at least 5 to 7 days for patient to get better, before popping in antibiotics.

If the symptoms persist for more than a week and get worse, it is most likely a bacterial infection and time to take antibacterial as they are effective against infections caused by bacterial, fungi and certain parasites.

Myth:

Can Stop Antibiotics After Symptoms Subside

Fact:

No, one must finish the entire course of antibiotics, even after feeling better. Only the full dose of antibiotics can destroy bacteria completely. Stopping medicines midway can cause mutation and may also develop resistance to the medication.

Myth:

Can Use Antibiotics Prescribed For Others

Fact:

Do not ever take antibiotics prescribed for others, even if you strongly feel that the symptoms are the same. It may not work for you, may cause allergic reactions and can also worsen the symptoms.

Myth:

Antibiotics Don’t Cause Any Issues

Fact:

Like any other medication, antibiotics can hurt if used inappropriately.  There is always a risk of allergy, nausea and vomiting. Extreme usage of antibiotics can damage healthy flora in the stomach and in intestines causing life-threatening situations.

Myth:

Leftover Antibiotics Can Be Saved and Used Again

Fact:

Saving leftover antibiotics to use next time is a very bad idea. Liquid-based antibiotics lose potency over years. Antibiotics may not work always against the latest symptoms and there is also a danger of using expired medications. If you have any leftover medication, throw it away and consult a doctor for a fresh prescription.