Antibiotics can often seem like a miracle cure for what ails you. And sometimes, they are! So if you’ve got a few extra antibiotics lying around the house from your last infection, it’s probably a great idea to pop a couple of those babies the next time you get the flu. Right? WRONG!
Any medical professional worth his or her stethoscope will tell you that taking antibiotics for the flu is a really bad idea.
That’s because the flu, or influenza, is caused by a virus, not bacteria. Antibiotics help fight bacteria. They won’t do anything to help your virus. They won’t help you feel better. They won’t help you recover faster. They won’t make you less contagious. If you have the flu, taking an antibiotic will have as much of an impact on your well-being as an episode of Two and a Half Men from the Charlie Sheen era.
Actually, misusing antibiotics can have an impact much worse than Two and a Half Men. While a sitcom might cheer you up and make you feel better, improperly taking antibiotics can harm your health by making some bacteria resistant to the antibiotic. If you get sick from resistant bacteria, it can be a lot harder to get better. You could wind up in the hospital. Plus, you might spread your resistant bacteria to other people. You’d be better off with a tiger blood transfusion.*
Oh, and by the way, even if you did have an illness that antibiotics could treat, taking pills left over from a previous illness is still a bad idea. The medicine might not be right for whatever you have now; if it is the right weapon for your bacteria, you still might not have enough medicine to kill it all off. You could just be helping resistant bacteria gain a foothold (or flagellum-hold, as the case may be).
Keep yourself in #winning health. Talk to a medical professional at FastMed Urgent Care to ensure you get the right treatment the next time you get sick. And if you really want to fight the flu, be proactive and get vaccinated at FastMed for just $20.
* Note: Do not actually get a tiger blood transfusion.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/campaign-materials/print-materials/Brochure-general-color.pdf]]>