How antibiotics help in killing viruses?

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Inappropriate prescription and overuse of antibiotics all over the world is resulting in a vast healthcare problem- antibiotic resistance. The problem of antibiotic resistance remains confusing for several patients. You would have heard that using antibiotics for a viral infection is ineffective and has chances to result in antibiotic resistance. Are you wondering why physicians do not prescribe antibiotics for viral infections? How does overuse of antibiotics result in the condition- antibiotic resistance?

  • Antibiotics do not kill viruses as they have diverse structures and reproduce in a different form than bacteria.
  • When you think of it anatomically, you would learn that antibiotics cannot kill the virus with a different group of replicating machinery.
  • Antibiotics function by focusing on the growth device in bacteria to inhibit or kill those specific bacteria and not viruses.

What are the illnesses caused due to viruses?

  • Flu or influenza
  • RSV or respiratory syncytial virus
  • Certain ear or eye infections
  • Acute bronchitis
  • Acute sinusitis
  • Most runny noses, colds, and coughs
  • Most sore throats

The majority of viral infections do not require particular medication as they are self-limiting. It means the individual’s immune system will come front and battle the illnesses. But it can take time. It may take about one week to ten days for the cold and cough to vanish. When you do not take medicine, the flu would last for at least two weeks.

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If you are experiencing viral infections, it is recommended to drink sufficient fluids and manage symptoms such as pains, aches, and fevers with the right doses of fever and pain relievers. Consuming ibuprofen or acetaminophen or over the counter medications or medicines recommended by your physician will help in a great way. If your physician is diagnosing viral illness like sore throat, cold and cough and other associated symptoms that do not clear within ten days, it is recommended to approach your physician.

  • In prolonged or complicated viral infections, bacteria would invade and result in the condition referred to as – secondary bacterial infection. Your physician may suggest an antibiotic if it is necessary to destroy the particular invading bacteria. Remember, the physician does not prescribe an antibiotic to fight against the virus but to kill the bacteria.
  • In certain viral infections like chickenpox, shingles or flu, the doctor would recommend the antiviral drug. It will shorten the infection and assists in preventing complications. It is recommended to take antiviral at the early stage of infection that is by the first or second day to remain most effective.

Sick Girl Having Viral Fever Symptoms Coughing At Home.

Is it possible to treat cold with antibiotics?

When you are having cold and use antibiotics,

  • It is just a waste of money
  • It will not stop others from getting affected to the virus
  • It would not assist you to feel better
  • It will not treat the virus

Several bacterial infections do not need an antibiotic, but the type of antibiotic will differ according to the kind of infection. Are you wondering why doctors suggest antibiotics when you visit with cold and flu conditions? Antibiotics kill bacteria immediately or stop bacterial growth. It is not recommended to share antibiotics with another person.

What is antibiotic resistance and how does it occur?

Antibiotic resistance takes place when the bacteria struggle to battle with the antibiotic.

Bacteria fight against drug in several methods:

  • By developing enzymes to inactivate the antibiotic
  • By firming their cell walls
  • By assisting other bacteria that have less tendency to battle off the antibiotic

Antibiotics function by prying with the cell wall of bacteria and avoid bacteria from developing replicas of themselves. But still, most of the drugs were used for a long time, some times, overused.

Antibiotics for viral infections are developed to kill particular bacteria but after some time it will learn to modify as per the medicine and thus making the drugs less effective.

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