Know the Reason Why Do Doctors Prescribe Antibiotics for Viral Infections


Common cold and flu can occur atanytime of the year. Most of the times over the counter drugs and a little rest can cure viral fever. Sometimes, your own medication may not work properly to relieve you from the illness. At such times, many people in India think that antibiotic medicines could do the benefit and they often take antibiotic medicines without even consulting the physician.

It is advised that if a fever lasts longer than the expected time, you must consult your doctor. It is not always necessary that the fever is caused due to viral infections only. You may need some combination of medicines to be able to cope with your illness. Taking on antibiotic medication all by yourself is the last thing you would like to do if you know the dangerous side effects antibiotics could cause to your body when taken unnecessarily. The medicines that help in curing the symptoms are those that help in relieving pain like ibupofen, Dolo 650 and aspirin. Dolo 650 is a mild analgesic that helps in curing fever and relieves pain associated with back pain, arthritis and dental ache. Its main ingredient is paracetamol that eases pain.

What is Antibiotics Meant for?

People often believe that antibiotic medicines are the next step of over the counter medicines for common cold and viral infections. They can cure flu and its symptoms more effectively than the cold relieving medicines. But the reality is completely different. Antibiotic medicines can be effective only when they are used for treating bacterial infections in the body. They are not useful in treating viral infection and fever. It can, rather, be harmful to your body if taken unreasonably. Antibiotic medicines are not meant for viral infections or flu. It is extremely dangerous to use antibiotics when you are suffering from viral fever.

Why Antibiotics can be Dangerous If Used in Treating Viral Infection?

One of the most important things to remember while using antibiotic drugs is whether or notthe illness is caused by bacterial agents. If the cause of illness is not a bacterialinfection, then antibiotic drugs should not be used. Unnecessary use of antibiotic medicines could cause the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in your body which will prevent the effectiveness of antibiotic medication when used in the future.

In other words, when you take antibiotics without an actual cause, the bacteria present in your body come in contact with the antibiotic and gradually adapts to the medicine in order to survive. Therefore, the new strains of bacteria become resistant to some specific category of antibiotics. When those specific antibiotic drugs are used in future for treating any health condition, the medicine will not be effective in your body. As a result, it will be difficult for the doctor to find out the effective dose of antibiotics for you. Moreover, it can also cause severe kidney and liver damages.

 When to Use Antibiotic Medicines?    

Antibiotic medicines can be the real live savers if used properly for the right treatment. The use of antibiotic medicines is inevitable for the treatment of pneumonia, pink eye, bronchitis, strep throat or ear infection. All these health conditions are caused by bacterial invasion in the body and thus, can be cured only with the help of antibiotics.

Remember, not all cold and fevers are caused due to viral infections in the body. Some are also caused by bacterial infection. In such cases, symptoms may look same as that found in viral infections but they could be more serious and can last longer than viral infections.This is the reason why you should consult your physician if your flu lasts for more than seven days. It could be caused due to bacterial infection. Check online doctor free to know some of the distinguishing symptoms of bacterial infection. It could be a pain in eyes or around your mouth and prolonged cough accompanied with thick and green/yellow mucus. It is better to inform your doctor if such symptoms occur. A few doses of antibiotics could relieve these symptoms.

Treatment of Viral Infections

If high fever, soreness of throat or running nose is diagnosed for usual viral infection, it can be treated at home with the help of online doctor free. A little rest, lots of fluids and some over the counter fever diminishing medicines can do the trick. Usually, the immune system of your body is capable of fighting against viral infections in various parts of your body. The high fever which occurs during viral infection is, actually, the symbol of the process of curing the viral infections. High fever which is followed by viral infections in the body goes away naturally within 5 to 7 days.

The only way to relief viral infection is to treat the symptoms causing discomfort in the body. There is no antibiotic medicine which can cure a viral infection. Just take some over the counter medicines like ‘Ibuprofen’ or ‘Acetaminophen’ to subside the high temperature of the body, body aches and headaches, and rest is done by your body itself.

However, self-medication for treating viral infection is fine with adults only. It is wise not to treat small children at home because both bacterial and viral infections in your body could show similar symptoms.

Why Do Doctors Prescribe Antibiotics to Treat Viral Infections?

In India doctors often prescribe antibiotic medicines for common cold and flu. You may always ask your doctor to explain the reason foran antibiotic prescription for a common cold. Most of the time, when doctors prescribe antibiotic drugs for treating viral infections or the commoncold, they observe some bacterial infection in your body too. The occurrence of bacterial infection could be possible when your body’s immune system is weak and fighting with viral infections. This leads to the prescription of antibiotic drugs to the patients come with flu symptoms.

Bacterial infection in the throat and lungs are very common when your body is already exhausted fighting with viral infections. Such bacterial invasion during common cold could cause a cough, pain around eyes and mouth, which increases while bending forward, and occurrence of green-yellow mucus. These symptoms can accompany the symptoms of viral infections. The doctor makes a thorough check up and considers your medical history to decide on prescribing antibiotic drugs during flu or the common cold. Nevertheless, taking antibiotics without consulting a doctor could be very harmful to your body. Only doctors have the expertise of distinguishing between the symptoms of bacterial and viral infection in your body.

What to do When Doctor Prescribes Antibiotic for Viral Infection?

It is best to rely on your doctor’s prescription than to take the wrong medication all by yourself.The fine line between the symptoms of viral and bacterial infection can only be detected by a doctor. If the doctor is prescribing you antibiotic drugs for common cold, do not over think. The most obvious reason for prescribing antibiotics during viral infection is the presence of some bacterial infection in your body at the same time. So, a doctor may prescribe a fever-reducing over the counter drug along with antibiotic to treat your symptoms to provide your body an all-round protection against further infections.

It is always recommended to complete the entire course of antibiotic medicines as per the prescription of your physician. It could be possible that you feel fit and fine after taking a few doses of your medicines but continue to take all the doses prescribed by the doctor. Stopping antibiotic doses midway could affect the use of future antibiotic treatment.

Misuse of Antibiotic Medicines

Although you should rely on the thought that your physician knows the best, antibiotic medicines are often misused by many doctors in India.There are many doctors who prescribe antibiotic drugs to their patients without even fully confirming the symptoms.This leads to antibiotic resistance in the body, which is one of the most commonly found problems in India. Some other times, people take antibiotics as self-medication to treat the common cold.

This misuse of antibiotic drugs helps to grow antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains in your body. This new strain of bacteria will no more respond to certain antibiotic medicines in the future. The new strain of bacteria grows in number and eventually becomes strong enough to oppose antibiotic treatment in the body.  In that case, doctors in the future may face the difficulty in finding the right antibiotic dosage to destroy those resistant bacterial strains in your body. Sometimes, a stronger antibiotic dose is given to some patients intravenously.This could pose your body to life-threatening risk over minor bacterial infection in the future.

What should be done for Viral Infection?

If you are already diagnosed with a viral infection, cold and fever, there is nothing to get worried. Your body is capable of combating against viral invasions in your body. The immune system does the most of the job in healing the viral infection and the rest you check from online doctor free. All you need to do is to:

  • Rest – Instead of struggling with office work and running nose, it is better to take leave for a few days and take as much rest at home as possible. The body temperature will rise if you stay active during a viral infection.
  • Take medicine – Take over the counter medicines which help in relieving the suffering due to head ache, body ache or high temperature.
  • Take fluids – It is very important to take plenty of water or any kind of fluids to keep you hydrated during a viral infection.
  • Contact physician – If the fever lasts for more than a week or you notice green-yellow mucus and cough, it is better to contact your doctor for your own benefit instead of taking on to self-medication.