How Do Antibiotics Fight Infections
Antibiotics are common medications, but they are also sophisticated weapons that kill or stun bacteria in your body. There are a number of different types, and they work in a variety of ways against different types of bacteria.
Its important to know that antibiotics work by killing bacteria, so theyre effective only when you have an infection caused by bacteria in your body. This is different from vaccines, which can shield you from infections caused by bacteria or viruses that you might encounter in the future.
Some antibiotics directly kill bacteria. These are called bactericidal antibiotics. Other antibiotics are bacteriostatic. This means that they slow bacteria down, giving your immune system time to catch up. Either way, antibiotics can stop a bacterial infection from spreading.
Because antibiotics attack bacteria that are living in your body, theyre most effective when youre already sick with an infection.
What about antiseptics?
Antiseptics are different from antibiotics because they arent targeted weapons. Instead, they are harsh chemicals that kill just about everything. Antiseptics are helpful for cleaning surfaces, because they can kill bacteria, viruses, and parasites but they also harm living cells. For that reason, antiseptics cant be taken as medication.
Antibiotics Could Make Flu Shots Less Effective
AUSTIN New research suggests taking antibiotics during flu season could make your flu shot less effective, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The research was conducted by giving healthy adults the flu shot and then giving half of the participants broad spectrum antibiotics. Most of the adults who took the antibiotics showed a decreased resistance to the flu.
You Had A Severe Reaction To The Shot Last Year
If you experienced a severe reaction to your flu shot last year, talk to your doctor first before heading in for this year’s vaccine. In most cases, the reaction you experienced wasn’t related to the flu shot at all. However, in some cases, it may be a sign that you’re allergic to a component used in the flu vaccine. According to the Mayo Clinic, “The flu vaccine isn’t recommended for anyone who had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine.”
According to Dr. May, you’ll know you’re having a severe allergic reaction if you experience “lip or tongue swelling, wheezing, hives, hoarseness, difficulty breathing, paleness or a fast heartbeat.”
Your doctor may still recommend that you get the flu vaccine since this illness can be dangerous and lead to serious complications. Your medical provider may want to monitor you or have another medical professional observe your reaction to the vaccine this year, just to be safe.
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Who Should Not Get A Flu Vaccine
Children younger than 6 months cannot get a flu shot. Those who’ve had a severe allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past should not get that type of flu shot again, and should speak with their health care provider about whether they can receive another type of flu shot, the CDC says. Similarly, people who’ve had a life-threatening reaction to ingredients in flu vaccines besides egg proteins shouldn’t get flu vaccines with those ingredients, and should speak with their health care provider about whether there is a flu vaccine that’s right for them, the CDC says.
People with egg allergies can still receive any type of flu shot that’s recommend for their age group, even if the flu shot is made with egg-based technology , the CDC says. Studies have found that people with egg allergies are very unlikely to experience a severe reaction to flu vaccines. People who’ve had a severe allergic reaction to egg should get their flu shot under the supervision of a health care provider who can treat severe allergic reactions, the CDC says. In addition, several types of flu shots are egg-free, including recombinant flu vaccines and cell-based flu vaccines.
You should not get the flu vaccine if you have a high fever.
However, if you have minor illness, like a mild cold or a headache, you can still get a flu shot, Schaffner said. “The vaccine does perfectly well in those folks.”
Pregnancy And Influenza Immunisation
Pregnant women are at increased risk of complications from influenza. Influenza vaccine is strongly recommended and safe for pregnant women at any time during pregnancy. It can also be safely given while breastfeeding.
Influenza vaccination of pregnant women also protects infants against influenza for the first 6 months after birth due to transplacental transfer of antibodies from the vaccinated woman to the unborn baby.
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Getting The Flu Shot During Cancer Treatment
Bayshore | Thursday, March 15, 2018 1:44 PM EST | Health and Wellness
Health experts agree that cancer patients and cancer survivors, along with their family members and caregivers, should have the flu shot every year, and its safe for most people undergoing cancer treatment. The flu shot, or influenza vaccine, is the best way to protect yourself against the flu, especially if you have a weakened immune system from cancer orcancer treatment. When your immune system is suppressed, it cant fight off the influenza virus. This puts you at greater risk for serious flu complications such as pneumonia, which requires hospitalization, intravenous antibiotics and could postpone cancer treatments like chemotherapy. Even if the flu shot doesnt prevent you from getting sick, it can makeyour illness milder.
Encourage relatives, friends and caregivers to get vaccinated in order to reduce your chances of getting the flu from them, especially if you are undergoing chemotherapy.
Can I Still Get A Flu Shot If I’m Sick
Once you have booked your appointment, you are required to fill out a screening questionnaire, a standard list of questions recommended by the Australian Immunisation Handbook.
The questionnaire is mandatory because a needle cannot be administered without your express consent. As part of it, an administrator will generally ask how you are feeling.
But it can be hard to know whether it is worth mentioning your runny nose .
It all depends on how sick you are: a runny nose, cough, and aches and pains will not prevent you from receiving the vaccine, but having a high fever will.
“If you are ‘systemically unwell’ or have a fever of above 38.5C, it’s medically recommended that we hold off,” Dr Clements said.
However, an administrator can choose not to give you the vaccine if they suspect you are ill, even if you say you are fine.
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Is It True That Some Vaccines Contain Antibiotics
Confusingly, some vaccines contain tiny amounts of antibiotics but those antibiotics arent there to kill germs in your body. In fact, theyre not even the types of antibiotics that are used to treat infections in humans.
Instead, antibiotics are sometimes added to vaccines to keep bacteria from living in the vaccine liquid during the manufacturing process. This is the same approach used by food packagers to keep germs out of packaged foods. In either case, bacteria could cause big problems if they snuck into the products during manufacturing. The addition of small amounts of antibiotics to the products keeps this from happening.
The tiny amounts of antibiotics used in vaccines are safe for humans. But they wont kill many bacteria in your body: The amount is way too small to have any effect on you, or on any bacteria trying to make you sick.
Be Prepared In Case You Do Get The Flu
Speak to your doctor or health practitioner so you know what to do if you get sick. Talk about:
- what symptoms should prompt a call to the doctor
- whether you should get an anti-viral drug if you get the flu
- how to get a prescription for an anti-viral drug quickly if you need it
- making sure your vaccines are up to date
Keep a written record of:
- the type of cancer you have or had
- cancer treatments youve had and when
- the name and contact information for all your doctors
- a complete list of medicines you are taking
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Connection Between Vaccine Response And Preexisting Immunity
The response to the flu vaccine differed between the two groups. All of the first 22 volunteers from 201415 turned out to have high levels of flu antibodies to begin with. So, whether they took antibiotics or not, they had a preexisting immunity to that seasons flu virus strain.
In the 201516 group, however, all selected participants had low levels of flu antibodies at the start and low immunity. None had received a flu vaccination in the three years prior. After getting the flu shot, those who also took the antibiotics had a significant drop in antibodies that would protect them from the H1N1 virus.
Study authors suggest that if these individuals were exposed to this H1N1 virus after vaccination, they would most likely be less protected against getting the flu than people who had not received antibiotics.
Interestingly, the effect on the vaccine response was seen only in people with low levels of preexisting immunity to this vaccine, says Embry. Its important to note that the antibiotic treatment did not appear to significantly impact the immune responses in those who had higher levels of preexisting immunity to influenza.
Here’s When You Should Not Get The Covid Vaccine
If there’s a chance you have COVID, however, then it’s a different story. If you are having upper respiratory symptoms, the first thing you should do is get tested for COVID-19, Dr. Mandal says. For one thing, if you do have COVID or are awaiting test results, you should immediately self-isolate, and definitely shouldn’t expose the person giving you the shot. For another, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a Jan. 6 C-span interview that you should wait three months to get the COVID vaccine if you have already had the virus. The theory is that waiting would prevent interference between naturally occurring antibodies and the ones the vaccine triggers.
âIf you currently have the virus, then getting vaccinated will not be immediately helpful as the body takes time to mount an immune response,â says Dr. Eudene Harry, MD, a board-certified emergency medicine physician in Orlando, Florida. âIf you have recently received flu or any other vaccinations, then it is recommended by the CDC that you wait to receive COVID vaccine at least 14 days.â In any case, if you have had COVID-19, it is still recommended that you eventually receive the vaccine, as it is still unclear how long immunity from infection lasts, Dr. Harry says.
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When To Get A Flu Shot
Since the timing of the onset, peak, and end of flu season changes from year to year and cannot be predicted, it is difficult to pinpoint the best time for getting vaccinated.
For people taking these or other drugs that suppress the immune system, the optimum time to receive a flu shot is from October to mid-November.
Flu shots are generally available in early September. The flu shot should be scheduled well before the flu season starts to get busy because it can take one to two weeks for the shot to take effect.
Flu activity usually peaks between December and February, with some activity as late as May. Therefore, the vaccination could be given even later, if necessary, because receiving a shot late is better than not getting one at all.
How You Can Help Fight Superbugs
The good news is that were making progress in the battle against superbugs. Aetna is working to educate doctors about the dangers of overprescribing antibiotics for common complaints like acute bronchitis, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state Departments of Health. In 2018, the program reduced unnecessary prescriptions by 16%. In 2019, the initiative will be expanding to additional states.
But we need your help. You can fight the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs by asking the right questions and taking your medication as directed. If your doctor offers to prescribe you antibiotics, ask if theyre really necessary. Doctors may think people are coming to them for antibiotics, Dr. Knecht says. Asking doctors if antibiotics are needed lets them know that youre there for the right treatment, whatever that is. And if you do need antibiotics for a bacterial illness, dont skip doses and do take all the pills prescribed to you, even after you feel better. And dont share antibiotics with others.
Imagine a world where you dont know if antibiotics will work, Dr. Knecht urges. Many people dont recognize how important they are. We need to elevate their status and preserve this precious resource.
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Flu Shot Side Effects
According to the CDC, mild side effects from the flu shot include soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site, low-grade fever and aches. Only about 1% to 2% of people who get a flu shot will have fever as a side effect, Schaffner said. These mild effects should go away within a few days.
Rare but serious side effects can occur, including allergic reactions. Symptoms of serious side effects include difficulty breathing, swelling around the eyes or lips, hives, racing heart, dizziness and high fever. If you experience serious side effects, you should seek medical care immediately, the CDC says. In addition, it’s important to ask your health-care provider to file what a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System report either online or by calling VAERS at 1-800-822-7967, the CDC says.
For children, side effects from the flu nasal spray can include runny nose, wheezing, headache, vomiting, muscle aches and fever. For adults, side effects from the spray version of the vaccine include runny nose, headache, sore throat and cough. These side effects last a short time compared with the actual flu illness, the CDC says.
Antibiotics: Too Much Of A Good Thing
The fewer antibiotics we all take, the better for ourselves and the whole planet.
Although antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, they can miss bacteria like Clostridium difficile . After taking antibiotics, you could get a C. diff infection, which causes diarrhea and can require emergency medical attention. Antibiotics can also cause abdominal pain and yeast infections like vaginosis or thrush.
Overuse of antibiotics also contributes to the rise of super bugs, or antibiotic resistant bacteria. So, avoiding antibiotics when possible is one way to promote good health globally.
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When To Seek Medical Care
These are the emergency warning signs of flu sickness.
- fast breathing or trouble breathing
- bluish lips or face
- ribs pulling in with each breath
- chest pain
- severe muscle pain
- not alert or interacting when awake
- in children less than 12 weeks old, any fever
- fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
- worsening of chronic medical conditions
These are not all of the possible emergency warning signs of flu. Contact your doctor about any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
If you have the emergency warning signs of flu sickness, you should obtain medical care right away.
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- persistent dizziness, confusion, inability to arouse
- fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
- worsening of chronic medical conditions
If you have symptoms of flu and are in a high-risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your doctor.
High-risk groups include:
- adults 65 years and older
- anyone with these conditions:
You Should Still Get The Flu Vaccine
The findings, Pulendran says, imply that when next seasons flu strain comes along, you want your gut-resident microbes to be in full bloom in order for your immune system to rise to the occasion. Pulendran offers some advice. Get your annual flu shot, he says. The greater your inventory of immune memory to influenza strains bearing any resemblance to the one thats coming over the hill, the more likely youll be able to deal with it, even if your gut microbes are in short supply.
Other investigators at Emory University, as well as researchers at the Ragon Institute, the University of Chicago, Georgia State University, and the Food and Drug Administration contributed to the work. The study appears in Cell.
Funding came from the National Institutes of Health, the Soffer Endowment, and the Violetta Horton Endowment. Stanfords departments of Pathology and of Microbiology and Immunology also supported the work.
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How To Book Your Appointment
If you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine, you can book an appointment at your GP surgery or a pharmacy that offers it on the NHS.
You may also get an invitation to get the vaccine, but you do not have to wait for this before booking an appointment.
Everyone who is eligible for the free flu vaccine will be able to get it.
GP surgeries and pharmacies get the flu vaccine in batches. If you cannot get an appointment straight away, ask if you can book an appointment for when more vaccines are available.
If you have an appointment for a COVID-19 booster vaccine at a GP surgery or pharmacy, you may also be offered a flu vaccine at the same time.
Do not delay booking your flu vaccine appointment so that you can get both vaccines together. Only some people will be offered both vaccines at the same time.
How Does Stelara Work
Stelara is a monoclonal antibody. Monoclonal antibodies are man-made proteins that act like human antibodies in the immune system. They are a type of targeted treatment. Targeted treatments attach only to specific proteins in the body.
Stelara binds to the p40 protein subunit that is used by two cytokines, IL-12 and IL-23. Cytokines are signaling substances that help control immunity, inflammation, and the manufacture of blood cells. By binding to this protein, Stelara disrupts the interaction of these two cytokines which have been identified as being important contributors to chronic inflammation that is a hallmark of Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. These cytokines are also present in skin lesions associated with psoriasis and in the joints of people with psoriatic arthritis.
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