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Urgent Care 101: What are Antibiotics Used for?
Urgent care centers often prescribe antibiotics to patients who suffer from a bacterial infection, and it often works well in helping individuals recover quickly. However, all too many do not understand exactly what antibiotics are, when they support recovery and when they may not be the best method of treatment.
Urgent care and the use of antibiotics
By gaining a better perspective on what antibiotics are and when they are the most appropriate form of treatment, you can better understand why urgent care may or may not prescribe it to you for your illness. The following is everything to know about antibiotics, including what they are and when they should and should not be used to treat an illness.
What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are a powerful form of medication that fight off bacteria that invade and attack the body. The first line of defense when a bacterial infection occurs is the immune system, which is typically able to fight off the infection quite effortlessly. However, there are times when the immune system is unable to effectively fight off the bacteria and more severe symptoms exist, during which time antibiotics may be useful in helping the body rid itself of the illness.
When are antibiotics prescribed?
Antibiotics work to fight off bacterial infections. The most common forms of bacterial infections in which antibiotics may be a useful form of treatment include the following:
- Strep throat
- Urinary tract infection
- Sinus infection
- Skin infection
Many illnesses can be the result of either a bacterial infection or a viral infection. A typical example of this is a sinus infection, although many other common sicknesses could be the result of either. After examining the patient and their symptoms, urgent care decides whether or not antibiotics are an option.
What can't antibiotics treat?
It is important to remember that antibiotics can treat most bacterial infections, but they do not work to treat viral infections. Unfortunately, the majority of upper respiratory infections are the result of a virus. Here are the most common illnesses that are not able to be treated with antibiotics:
- Sore throat
In the event the patient suffers from a viral infection, urgent care is more likely to give the patient antiviral medication rather than antibiotics, although many viral infections can improve by just controlling the symptoms instead.
Visit urgent care to learn more about antibiotics
Urgent care centers are usually hesitant to prescribing antibiotics as it can become less effective the more a patient uses them. However, for more serious bacterial infections in which the symptoms suddenly worsen or linger for longer than expected, antibiotics may be prescribed. If you are under the weather and want to learn more about whether or not antibiotics are a treatment option for you — or simply need treatment for the symptoms — contact us today and find out how we can help you make a complete recovery as quickly as possible.
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