What Are Antibiotics?
Antibiotics are an important group of medicines that treat infections and
diseases that occur because of bacteria. Antibiotics can be used in treating
a broad range of illnesses and conditions. These drugs kill bacteria or
stunt their growth and development. The antibiotic called penicillin was
discovered in the 1920s, and made a huge difference in the medical field.
Other types of antibiotics include:
- Metronidazole and tinidazole
When Are Antibiotics Used?
Antibiotics work by killing bacteria, preventing vital processes in the
bacteria. Antibiotics can be used in treating infections that are caused
by germs—which include bacteria and some parasites. Examples of
severe infections that can be treated with antibiotics include pneumonia
and meningitis. Antibiotics can even be used in treating acne! Your doctor
will be able to choose the right antibiotic for your condition.
Antibiotics cannot effectively treat illnesses that are not caused by bacteria.
In other words, your doctor will not prescribe antibiotics for infections
caused by viruses such as the cold or flu, or infections caused by fungi
such as thrush, or fungal skin infections. Other names for antibiotics
include antibacterials and antimicrobials. Ask your Fremont internist
at Washington Township Medical Foundation if you have questions about
the use of antibiotics.