Antibiotics are a class of drugs used to treat bacterial infections such as urinary tract infections, strep throat, and pneumonia. They are not effective against viral infections, such as the common cold or flu. They work by killing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria that cause the infection. Antibiotics can be taken orally, topically, or intravenously, depending on the type and severity of the infection.
There are many different types of antibiotics, each with its own mechanism of action and spectrum of activity. Some antibiotics are broad-spectrum, meaning they are effective against a wide range of bacteria, while others are narrow-spectrum, meaning they are effective against only a few types of bacteria.
It is important to use antibiotics only when they are needed and to take them as prescribed. Overuse or misuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, where bacteria become resistant to the effects of antibiotics and are more difficult to treat.
Common side effects of antibiotics can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and allergic reactions. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider if you experience any side effects while taking antibiotics.