Antibiotics are given for treatment against an infection caused by bacteria or virus. How antibiotics work is by stopping the bacteria from reproducing or they just destroy it. Bacteria antibiotics like penicillin kill the bacteria by interfering with the formation of the bacterium cell wall. A bacteriostatic stops the bacteria from multiplying. They can be used to treat disease like bacterial meningitis. This disease can be life threatening which is why you are given antibiotics intravenously into the veins. There are antibiotics available which can be taken orally however they are less reliable because people can vomit or have poor absorption which makes it less effective. The type of bacteria causing meningitis will determine what type of antibiotic is used. How the antibiotic would work is by killing the harmful bacteria so that it cannot reproduce. It also reduces any risks or complications like brain damage for those who have bacterial meningitis. The disadvantages are that the bacteria can become antibiotic resistant making the antibiotic no longer effective or useful. This is because the bacteria has adapted over time and is not affected by the drug, this happens when you’re frequently exposed to the same antibiotics or that they are used inappropriately. This is why you are required to complete the course of antibiotics as the bacteria can still be alive and result in an antibiotic-resistant strain. This is why you should follow the doctor’s instructions.
Antiviral drugs are specially used to treat viral infections like the influenza flu. These drugs are available by the NHS and must not be bought over the internet. They disrupt the reproductive process by killing or inhibiting the growth of the virus. Examples of antiviral medication include Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Zanamivir (Relenza) which are used against the flu virus. These drugs are prescribed by doctors they may not cure the flu but help with the symptoms and can reduce the duration of the illness. Tamiflu comes as capsules which should be swallowed as a whole with water, however, it’s advised to take antivirals with food to reduce the feeling of sickness. On the other hand, Relenza is given as a dry powder to inhale. Theses antivirals can be taken at the along with paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen as there is a small chance that the antivirals will alter the effect of any other medications.
Antifungal medication also referred as antimitotic medication, is a medical fungicide or fungistatic used to treat and prevent diseases caused by infection with fungi such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, vaginal thrush and many others that affect your skin, nails and hair. Serious systemic infections such as Cryptococci meningitis, and more. You’re able to get antifungal medicine from the pharmacy but for some types, you require a prescription from your GP. The job of antifungal medicine is to prevent the growth and reproduction of fungal cell or to kill the fungal cells by affecting a substance in the cell walls, which will cause contents of the fungal cells to leak out and the cells to die. The types of antifungal medicines are tropical antifungal which comes as a cream/ointment or even spray which can be applied directly to your skin, hair or nails. Oral antifungals are capsule/tablets or liquid medicine that you swallow. Intravenous antifungals are given in injection form usually by hospitals. Intravaginal antifungal pessaries are soft tablets you can insert into the vagina. The side effects of the antifungal medicine are itching, abdominal pains, and feeling of sickness, diarrhea and rash. More serious allergic reactions can occur causing swelling on the face, neck and tongue leading to difficulties breathing. More serious side effects are liver damage which is very rare where you experience loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, dark urine or pale feces.
Antimalarial medication is used to treat and prevent malaria. When you’re bitten by a mosquito that carries a plasmodium parasite it injects it into the bloodstream allowing it to multiply and invade the red blood cells and eventually reach the liver. The way antimalarial work is by killing this parasite, therefore, it is not able to form malaria. They work against the parasite enzymes within the infected erythrocytes. People are advised to take antimalarial medicine when travelling to other countries where malaria is common like Africa. These are usually prescribed by your GP depending on where you going, past records, age, family and whether you are pregnant. Antimalarial medication is often supplied in a tablet or capsule form, however, those who are really ill are provided with an alternative where they administer it via intravenous injection directly into the veins of the arm which is usually done by the hospital.
Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) is treatment using salt and sugar based solution to treat severe dehydration. This can be used against diseases like cholera where you have lots of diarrhea. Those who have severe diarrhea lose lots of body fluids like sodium and potassium. ORT helps with rehydration because the salts and glucose help with the absorption of salt and water into the intestine walls. Water it self-doesn’t rehydrate you because it doesn’t have electrolytes which is why this treatment method is effective as by the process of osmosis the salt and sugar allow you to get water into your bloodstream more quickly. ORT doesn’t stop the diarrhea but replaces the fluids lost and essential salt treating dehydration. It replenishes the blood with the key minerals. ORT packets are available from pharmacies, health centers and shops. If this is not available you can make the solution at home using 6 teaspoons of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in 1 liter of clean water. The exact measurement must be used as too much sugar can worsen the diarrhea and too much salt is also dangerous. The benefits of this treatment is that it’s a cheap and easy way to rehydrate yourself and maintain good health which is why it’s used by people who do intensive amounts of exercise and those who are exposure to extreme weather conditions.
Immunoglobulin therapy, also known as normal human immunoglobulin, is the use of a antibodies to treat a number of health conditions and to help the body protect itself from different autoimmune infections and idiopathic diseases. This is used for those whose immune system isn’t able to make enough antibodies to fight against the diseases. This therapy however may not work for every disease as someone who has an immune system which makes sufficient amount of antibodies means that this therapy will not work. The risks with this treatment is that it includes injecting antibodies in to the veins which can lead to an allergic reaction, head ace, flu like symptoms or even kidney failure. The disadvantages are that this treatment is made from the blood of human donors which means that there’s a risk of transmitting virus. Not only this but it’s really expensive. The cost is usually dependent on the individual’s weight, body and dose. It only provides protection over a certain amount of time which means that you will require regular updates which can go up to a patient’s whole life time.