It is that time of year when people are getting sick.  You may go to your doctor with a sore throat and cough and beg and plead for an antibiotic.  Be advised, antibiotics are used in treating bacterial infections, preventing the spread of disease, and minimizing serious complications of disease.  Antibiotics are used to kill bacteria that have infected the body.  Antibiotics DO NOT treat or kill viral infections.  If you take an antibiotic inappropriately, the antibiotic is going to attack beneficial bacteria or at least bacteria not causing disease.


Common viral infections that are inappropriately treated with antibiotics are:


  • Cold
  • Flu
  • Bronchitis
  • Most coughs
  • Most sore throats
  • Some ear infections
  • Some sinus infections
  • Stomach flu


Our society has been misusing and overusing antibiotics for decades, not only for the use of disease in humans, but also to make our chickens and hogs bigger, faster.  This misdirected use promotes antibiotic resistant properties in harmless bacteria, which in-turn share with other bacteria, causing antibiotics to no longer be effective on certain bacteria and increasing the number of drug resistant germs.


Failure to complete an antibiotic or follow instructions also promotes resistance.  Even though you start feeling better and are tempted to stop taking an antibiotic, full treatment is necessary to kill the disease causing bacteria.  Failure can result in the need to resume treatment later and may promote spread of antibiotic resistant properties among harmful bacteria.


The next time you start feeling sick, rethink using an antibiotic.  First determine if there are other homeopathic treatments for your symptoms and then ask your doctor to determine you have a bacterial infection before starting an antibiotic.