The most popular over the counter antibiotics

Over the counter medication is the kind of medication that can be dispensed directly to the client without necessarily requiring a prescription. Such medication is often determined by a regulatory body which usually evaluates the active ingredients of a drug and their possible effects of being used without guidance from a physician.
Regulations for over the counter medications differ from country to country. The most common over the counter medication in almost every country include laxatives, painkillers, antacids and antihistamines. However, for antibiotics the case is a little different. Most regulations allow topical antibiotics to be sold without a prescription. This is because their use is only external. For injectable and oral antibiotics, a prescription will definitely be required. There are also antibiotic substances that can be obtained at grocery stores but sold as spices or food products for example a combination of cinnamon and applesauce which has been known to have antimicrobial effect.

What makes antibiotics unique?
Antibiotics are designed to act against specific target bacteria and are of different grades and strengths. Make no mistake. Not all bacteria are harmful to human life. There are some bacteria that are quite beneficial to all living organisms and are part of the life cycle. The active ingredients in antibiotics vary from one antibiotic to another. Some are to stop or prevent multiplication of certain bacteria while others destroy the structure of the bacteria completely.
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General spectrum antibiotics target a wide range of bacteria in many parts of the body but are milder. This means that one has to be properly diagnosed to determine the class of bacteria that is causing the illness. Obviously, this needs to be done by a qualified medical practitioner. Otherwise, one might end up using the wrong medication for the wrong illness. This might also lead to the destruction of the good bacteria that protects us from external invasions from the harmful bacteria.

Over the counter antibiotics are not safe for several reasons. Medical practitioners warn that the wrongful use of antibiotics might lead to drug resistance. This happens when bacteria mutate in a way that reduces the efficacy of the drug. According to the FDA, misuse of antibiotics is a growing public health issue that needs serious enforcement. It could lead to longer healing time, illness complications, increased deaths from bacteria illness complications and increasing costs for treatment as one would need stronger medication to combat the illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies a number of bacteria as presenting serious threats and how they have serious financial ramifications on the health care system. The FDA therefore issues regulations for drug labelling. The regulations encourage medical practitioners to only prescribe antibiotics when necessary, and to advise and sensitize their patients on the proper use of antibiotics and consistently emphasize on the importance of taking them as directed. The FDA also encourages initiatives to research and develop new strains of antibiotics to treat emerging and resistant bacterial infections.
Being smart about antibiotics
1. Always get a prescription from a qualified healthcare professional. Most people avoid visiting a health center because they are trying to cut back on the cost of treatment or are too embarrassed about their illnesses. The bad news, is it costs more eventually to wrongfully self-medicate.
2. Take the medication exactly as directed by the physician; adhere to dosage guidelines provided. This will a long way in helping the body to effectively combat the illness. Antibiotics are most effective when taken properly and can save lives. Note also that overuse of antibiotics can lead to drug resistance. They have provided major breakthroughs in medical research and helped to extend life expectancy over centuries of research.
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3. Do not share your medication with someone just because the symptoms are similar. This is a common mistake among many people and it might lead to complications of diseases. Other people could also be allergic to some ingredients in the drug and this could lead to death sometimes. Various diseases share symptoms and only a qualified healthcare provider can diagnose illnesses.
4. Most importantly, if the medication does not seem to work or causes serious side effects contact your health care provider in order to discuss other options. Under no circumstances should you self-prescribe antibiotics.