Antibiotics are wonder drugs. We all have been prescribed a certain set of medicines that were always referred to as antibiotics since our childhood. The invention of antibiotics has been a milestone in the medical world for the well being of human existence. As the name suggests, antibiotics are those powerful oral medicines that fight bacteria in the body. But it is also important to know that antibiotics are not general medicines that can be taken when needed and are dropped whenever you feel like. This is a mistake that many of us do. We are unaware of the set of guidelines for antibiotics that are necessary to follow. Why guidelines to antibiotics? Antibiotics are lifesavers as they kill the infection caused by bacteria. They don’t let the bacterias to reproduce or reoccur if taken properly. Antibiotics do not just cure the disease but also play a major role in not letting the same bacteria rearrive in the body. Hence, the guidelines are to make sure a person doesn’t get the same bacterial infection again. If the antibiotic course is left in between, bacterias may reappear in the body after some time. So even if you feel better in a day or two of consuming these medicines, it is important to take them according to doctor’s prescribed time, may it be 3 days, 5days or 7days. Guidelines for antibiotic consumption Inform your doctor about any allergies you might have prior to prescription. Women should also be transparent about being on any birth control pill or if planning a pregnancy. These are sensitive medicines so they must be taken cautiously. Be very clear about your dosage and duration. They must be consumed on proper times to not let reoccurrence of bacterial infection.Ask your doctor about possible side effects of antibiotics and if you find any odd allergies in your body post medicine, then contact your doctor immediately.If you miss a dose, do not try to double it the next time. Just continue with the next dose as prescribed. When the course is completed, make sure you throw away the leftover tablets. You must not take them as and when you have the same problem again. They must always be taken on doctor’s advisory. Never take these medicines that are prescribed to someone else even if the illness is the same. Side effects of antibiotics Doctors prescribe these only in bacterial infection. Though their consumption is never life-threatening, they do come with a certain set of side effects: Digestive problems: consuming antibiotics may weaken your digestive system. You may feel nausea, vomiting, indigestion, loss of appetite, and stomach ache while on an antibiotic course. It depends upon person to person and not a necessary problem. Fungal infection: since antibiotics are hard medicines, they sometimes kill good bacterias of the body that leads to some fungal infections. That may attack over vagina, mouth or throat. You must visit your doctor if you get a fungal infection during your course. Sever side effects: though these medicines never led to any severe side effects, there is 3-6 percent of the chances of so. Some of the severe side effects are anaphylaxis, kidney failure, skin allergies, blood thinning, and teeth, and bone staining. When to take or not to take antibiotics Your doctor decides whether you need antibiotics or not depending upon your kind of bacterial infection. Sometimes a viral infection is predicted as bacterial infection and antibiotics should never be consumed in such situations. Illness like ear pain, sinus infection, bronchitis, sore throat, UTI, etc is some of the common problems that are treated with antibiotics. They are also prescribed following surgery or treatment. Antibiotics are not always the answer to all your problems. Avoid these medicines as much as you can. Unless and until your doctor tells you to take it, never take the route.