Medical Author: Melissa Conrad St?ppler, MD
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel, Jr, MD, FACP, FACR
Mary thinks she may have a bladder infection.She makes the call to her doctor and is able get an appointment to come in and give a urine sample. Sure enough, bladder infection. Her doctor prescribes an antibiotic for the infection. Mary goes to the pharmacy, fills the prescription and as she is driving home, begins to think of questions that she should have asked her doctor about the antibiotic.
This scenario has run through many patients’ minds. What are the side effectsof the antibiotic? How soon should I begin to feel better? What if I don’t feel better after 4 or 5 days? When should I call my doctor? Should I be concerned about a rashor other side effects that develop while taking the antibiotic?
Antibiotics are a class of drugs that treat bacterial infections by stopping growth of bacteria or killing the bacteria directly. It’s important to remember that antibiotics are ineffective in treating infections causes by viruses, which include the majority of colds, sore throats(with the exception of streptococcus-induced, or so-called “strep throat”), coughs, and flu-like illnesses.