Conditions you shouldn't take antibiotics for

By:Himanshu Sharma, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Dec 31, 2014

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Antibiotics are life savers but not always the answer to illnesses. Take a look at some medical conditions that you shouldn’t be using antibiotics for.
  • 1

    Do You Really Need That Antibiotic?

    When we’re not feeling our best, we turn to a quick fix to help us get rid of that discomforting feeling. We go for antibiotics that are not always the answer. Yes, they are lifesavers but sometimes, they can affect your body in a way you don’t want them to. Antibiotics fight bacteria, and are of no use if the microbes are not causing the trouble you are in. Taking antibiotics won’t be of any use in such a situation; you are just consuming a chemical that your body doesn’t need. Here are some medical conditions you shouldn’t be using antibiotics for to feel better.


  • 2

    Sore Throat

    Sore throat is a condition that makes swallowing quite difficult. You shouldn’t be taking antibiotics for the condition as sore throats are caused by viral infection, and not bacterial. Treating a viral infection with them doesn’t help you get better, but sometimes worsens it. If you don’t get attention sore throat needs, the consequences can be runny nose, cough, and muscle pain. Don’t just pop the med; make sure you actually need it.


  • 3

    Acute Bronchitis

    If it is an awful cough in which you are spitting up plenty of colourful mucus, you don’t need antibiotics for it. That mucus is an indication that your body is cleaning up the viral infection which again means antibiotics won’t help any bit. Acute bronchitis often comes with a slight sore throat or runny nose, too. When these are the symptoms, you should make an appointment with your doctor for the appropriate treatment.


  • 4


    You don’t need antibiotics when your tooth is throbbing and you want quick relief. Toothache occurs mostly because of dental sensitivity in which you feel pain when drinking something hot or cold because your tooth’s root is exposed. Another reason for toothache can be inflammation of a nerve in the middle of the tooth or a cavity. Because bacteria don’t cause this inflammation, antibiotics won’t provide any relief. Your toothache will require an antibiotic only when the area around your tooth is swollen, has pockets of pus or you have fever.


  • 5

    Ear Infections

    Ear infections are either caused by viruses or bacteria, and sometimes both. In some cases, antibiotics are not needed. Antibiotics can actually help alleviate some symptoms by hinder the effectiveness of antibiotics that are used to treat the bacteria. Warm ear drops of mineral oil or baby oil can be more effective and safe thing to do. Besides worsening the symptoms, the antibiotics can have other consequences such as diarrhoea, nausea or a rash.

  • 6

    Skin Abscess

    You may think antibiotics are the best solution for a painful, pus-filled infection on your skin, also known as skin abscess. Skin abscess appears like a pimple, boil, or pustule that develops and grows. These infections are caused by bacteria—most commonly by staph or MRSA in some cases. A bacterial infection doesn’t necessarily need antibiotics. Most of skin abscesses cases could be treated by simply opening up the cavity and draining the pus.


  • 7

    Sinus Infections

    Sinus is a common condition that is characterised by stuffy nose and pounding facial pain. Nasal passage inflammation or a sinus infection is mostly due to a virus, not bacteria. Rather than antibiotics, you can also use a nasal spray for up to five days to get rid of the infection. When nasal inflammation is accompanied by high fever and profound sinus pain, antibiotics will be helpful. Moreover, antibiotics are more likely to work when combined with other medications.


  • 8

    When antibiotics are needed

    There are certain conditions that always need antibiotic treatment such as pneumonia, bacterial meningitis (to treat it, not to prevent it), urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases (only those caused by bacteria). Moreover, most of the skin infections need antibiotic treatment. It is advised to see a doctor before you use antibiotics as it can increase the health complications and put you in trouble.


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