When to take antibiotics depends on whether you’ve got a bacterial or viral infection, because antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria, not viruses. When used wisely, antibiotics are a powerful and life-saving tool in treating serious illnesses. Wise use presupposes taking antibiotics only for diagnosed bacterial infections and following the precise directions on the prescription.See http://www.drugs-med.com for more details on indication and recommendations for use of drugs.

Since most people underestimate how long their ailments can last, and demand their GP to prescribe antibiotics, we decided to list the 3 most common diseases and explain when antibiotics are really necessary and when you can do without them.

Sore throat in majority of cases is caused by viruses, therefore it’s better to help the immune system fight it off by drinking plenty of liquid and using home remedies like honey, lemon and ginger in a hot tea. If symptoms don’t improve or get worse over time and there appears drooling and difficulty swallowing or you develop high fever that lasts for 24-48 hours coupled with white spots on the tonsils, which can indicate bacterial tonsillitis,a course of Zithromax may be needed.

Bronchitis typically gets better on its own and coughing is the body’s way of clearing the lungs of infection. So, it is normal for cough to last for up to 3 weeks. However, if cough is accompanied by persistent fever, shortness of breath and blood-stained phlegm, it can be a sign of pneumonia that followed a chest infection. This is common in elderly people andantibiotics are necessary.

Sinusitis is usually due to a viral infection, so steam inhalations and decongestants will relieve the bunged-up feeling. If symptoms don’t improve over a week or you have recurrent bouts several times a year, antibiotics may be necessary to prevent the development of secondary bacterial infection in the sinuslining.

So, don’t urge your doctor to prescribe antibiotics, but once you’ve been prescribed always complete the course to avoid bacterial resistance.

By Skyler West

Piper Skyler West: Piper, a sports medicine expert, shares advice on injury prevention, athletic performance, and sports health tips.