Antibiotics are a group of medicines that are used to treat infections caused by germs (bacteria and certain parasites). They do not work against infections that are caused by viruses - for example, the common cold or flu.
Antibiotics are normally only prescribed for more serious bacterial infections - for example, pneumonia. When prescribed, it is important to take the entire course of antibiotics which helps to prevent resistance developing to that antibiotic.
It is important to take antibiotics in the correct way. If you do not, this may reduce how well they work. For example, some antibiotics need to be taken with food and others should be taken on an empty stomach. If you do not take your antibiotics in the right way it will affect how much of them get into your body (their absorption) and therefore they may not work as well.
Below is a list of the most common side-effects of antibiotics:
Below is a list of rare side-effects of antibiotics:
Overusing antibiotics :
There is concern worldwide that antibiotics are being overused. Antibiotic overuse is one of the factors that contributes towards the growing number of bacterial infections which are becoming resistant to antibacterial medications.