Its winter time again and  the time for lot of people coming down with cold and sore throat , coughing .

No matter how much work we do to supercharge our immune system  we simply seem to catch the bug  that’s going around in the office or school .

Many times its just a viral infection which takes it course and you start feeling better in a few days, how ever sometimes  it can turn in to a bacterial infection and if that happens an antibiotic may be suggested.

 Viral infections are best taken care with simple  home remedies So before you take a call here are few things you must ask yourself.

 1. Is the  antibiotic  really required ?

Antibiotics are medicines that are used to treat bacterial infections only. Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses like colds, flu, and  some sinus or ear infections   These infections can get better without antibiotics, and instead, symptom relief is the best treatment, and the use of antibiotics may cause unnecessary side effects.

At times people demand antibiotics from their doctors in the hope of quick a quick fix  but this does not help  relief

So let your doctor decide if antibiotics are really required.

Also remember  do not take antibiotics prescribed for other people as they may not be suitable for you and may in fact hamper the diagnosis of your illness.

2.What are the side effects?

The second thing that you must be aware of is what are the side effects you should expect when taking a particular antibiotic  so for e.g the commonest side effect of an antibiotic is Diarrhoea, and hyper acidity  so if you know the side effects then you can take measures to avoid them.

3. how do we prevent the side effects?

Actually in our body there are tons of bacteria living and not all the bacteria are bad, in fact some of them are playing a cruicial role in keeping us healthy  but the antibiotics do not understand this and they can kill  the good bacteria  so to replenish them you need to take probiotics , these probiotics are naturally available in  cheese curds  and fermented foods so  if you really need to take antibiotics you should include these substances in your food.

  1. Do antibiotics interact with other medication?

Some times antibiotics can interfere with the action of other medicines that you are taking  and  reduce their efficacy so never take antibiotics over the counter because the shopkeeper does not know what other medication you are taking  and you may end up increasing your suffering.

5. How many days should you take antibiotics ?

You must remember that antibiotics are not magic pills and will take time to work so give atleast 24- 48 hours  to see if they are effective  and let your doctor decide if it needs to be changed.