How Do Doctors Treat Viral Gastroenteritis
Your doctor may prescribe medicine to control severe vomiting. Doctors dont prescribe antibiotics to treat viral gastroenteritis. Antibiotics dont work for viral infections.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend probiotics. Probiotics are live microbes, most often bacteria, that are like the ones you normally have in your digestive tract. Studies suggest that some probiotics may help shorten a case of diarrhea. Researchers are still studying the use of probiotics to treat viral gastroenteritis. For safety reasons, talk with your doctor before using probiotics or any other complementary or alternative medicines or practices.
Anyone with signs or symptoms of dehydration should see a doctor right away. Doctors may need to treat people with severe dehydration in a hospital.
My Top 10 Natural Alternatives To Antibiotics For Colds Flus And Infections
Most people need one or more of the natural health products listed below to prevent influenza, colds, and other infections
A CTV News story filed on Nov. 13, 2019 reported that a B.C. woman had initiated a lawsuit against a Vancouver hospital for the wrongful death of her husband due to a hospital-acquired infection and subsequent failed antibiotics. This is just one example of what some describe as a growing epidemic of antibiotic-resistant superbugs killing patients. In fact, experts say that drug resistant bacteria could kill as many as 400,000 Canadians and cost the economy about $400 billion over the next 30 years. Im certain that more lawsuits are to follow.
What can be done about this growing public health concern? Is improving personal hygiene the only effective plan of action? Is using less antibiotics in our food supply something that should be done? Do we force doctors to prescribe fewer antibiotics for infections? Aside from pushing vaccines, and something called phage therapy , mainstream medicine hasnt got much else thats effective to treat infections. More toxic and expensive drugs and amputations are not exactly desirable treatments. Is there anything you can do on your own initiative to prevent or treat an infection without antibiotics? What about natural antibiotics?
Are There Any Natural Antibiotics
Natural antibiotics include honey, thyme essential oil, and oregano essential oil. Extracts of garlic, cranberry, and myrrh also have antibiotic properties. Several herbs are effective antibiotics, including echinacea, turmeric, and ginger.
Natural UTI treatments include D-mannose and uva ursi, along with green, parsley, mint, and chamomile teas.
You can experiment with different combinations of natural treatments to find out which are most effective for your needs.
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Top 10 List Of Common Infections Treated With Antibiotics
Most antibiotics fall into their individual antibiotic classes. An antibiotic class is a grouping of different drugs that have similar chemical and pharmacologic properties. Their chemical structures may look comparable, and drugs within the same class may kill the same or related bacteria.
However, it is important not to use an antibiotic for an infection unless your doctor specifically prescribes it, even if it’s in the same class as another drug you were previously prescribed. Antibiotics are specific for the kind of bacteria they kill. Plus, you would need a full treatment regimen to effectively cure your infection, so don’t use or give away leftover antibiotics.
Note: Tables below are not all-inclusive, generics are available for many brands.
How Can I Treat Viral Gastroenteritis
In most cases, people with viral gastroenteritis get better on their own without medical treatment. You can treat viral gastroenteritis by replacing lost fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration. In some cases, over-the-counter medicines may help relieve your symptoms.
Research shows that following a restricted diet does not help treat viral gastroenteritis. When you have viral gastroenteritis, you may vomit after you eat or lose your appetite for a short time. When your appetite returns, you can most often go back to eating your normal diet, even if you still have diarrhea. Find tips on what to eat when you have viral gastroenteritis.
If your child has symptoms of viral gastroenteritis, such as vomiting or diarrhea, dont hesitate to call a doctor for advice.
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Which Antivirals Does The Cdc Recommend
The CDC recommends baloxavir marboxil , oseltamivir , peramivir , and zanamivir for flu. They are most effective when given within 48 hours after symptoms start to appear. These flu drugs can decrease the duration of the flu by one to two days if used within this early time period. Oseltamivir , and zanamivir are usually given for a period of five days to treat the flu. For flu prevention, they are typically used for at least 7 days. In some cases, antivirals may be given for longer periods of time. For prevention of flu, antiviral drugs may be given for at least 7 days. In some cases, antivirals may be given for longer periods of time.
Oseltamivir is approved for treatment in those over 2 weeks of age and for prevention in people ages 3 months and older.
Peramivir, given in one intravenous dose, is approved for people ages 2 and older.
Zanamivir, an inhaled medication, is approved for treatment of people ages 7 and older and for prevention in people ages 5 and older.
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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When Should Antiviral Drugs Be Taken For Treatment
Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within two days of getting sick. However, starting them later can still be beneficial, especially if the sick person is at higher risk of serious flu complications or is in the hospital with more severe illness. Follow instructions for taking these drugs.
When Antibiotics Can Help
When they’re used the right way, antibiotics can save lives. For example, they can treat bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat, ear infection, and pinkeye — as long as they’re caused by bacteria.
Sometimes, you get infected with a bacteria after you’ve got a cold. Some signs of bacterial sinus infection are pain around your face and eyes that may get worse when you bend over. You might also cough up thick, yellow or green mucus.
These symptoms may also occur with a cold. But if they last for more than a week or are severe, you may have a bacterial infection and need antibiotics.
Only your doctor can prescribe antibiotics. Talk to them if you think you might need them.
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Names Of Common Antibiotics
Antibiotics are a common, important group of medicines that treat bacterial infections. Some antibiotics attack or break down the cell walls of bacteria, while others inhibit their protein production. This kills the bacteria or keeps it from reproducing and spreading.
Oral antibiotics are available in liquid, tablet, and capsule form. Topical antibiotics include skin creams, sprays, and ointments. Eye ointments, eye drops, and ear drops are also available. Severe infections may require injected or intravenous antibiotics.
Healthcare professionals prescribe different antibiotics to treat conditions such as strep throat, bronchitis, and inner ear infections. In this case, these infections are moderate to severe and have not improved with other treatments. Antibiotics do not treat viral illnesses, such as a cold, the flu, or mono.
These drugs are grouped according to their antibacterial activity and chemical structure. Specific antibiotics fight certain bacteria, which makes it important to take the right kind. A healthcare professional may ask for a lab culture test to determine which antibiotics you need.
Read on to learn more about the most common types of antibiotics and which infections they treat. We also explore the common side effects of antibiotics, which can include gastrointestinal problems like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as more serious effects.
Here are some types of antibiotics that doctors prescribe most often.
What Are The Risks
Antibiotics can upset the bodys natural balance of good and bad bacteria.
Antibiotics can cause:
- Nausea, vomiting, and severe diarrhea.
- Vaginal infections.
Many adults go to emergency rooms because of antibiotic side effects.
Overuse of antibiotics is a serious problem.
Wide use of antibiotics breeds superbugs. These are bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics. They can cause drug-resistant infections, even disability or death. The resistant bacteriathe superbugscan also spread to family members and others.
You may need an antibiotic if you have specific symptoms. For example, if you have a respiratory infection. Some examples are:
- A sinus infection that doesnt get better in 7 days. Or it gets better and then suddenly gets worse.
- Symptoms include sudden throat pain, pain when swallowing, a fever of at least 38 °C, and swollen glands.
- The diagnosis can be done with a rapid strep test, which uses a swab of the throat.
If your health care provider does prescribe antibiotics, follow the directions carefully and take all your pills. This helps prevent the growth of superbugs.
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Fever And Pain Treatment
Painkillers and antipyretics may be helpful. Although a high fever might not be desirable, a slight fever is not such a bad thing it helps the body fight off infections more rapidly. When body temperature rises, viruses and bacteria find it harder to reproduce. With the exception of very young patients, doctors no longer recommend trying to bring a slight fever down.
However, if patients feel bothered and uncomfortable, an antipyretic is usually fine. Aspirin should only be taken by older adults, not children or young adults.
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are effective for the treatment of both fever and pain. Check with a doctor or a qualified pharmacist for the correct dosage and schedule for these medications. Overmedication may cause liver injury or failure or kidney injury or failure.
- Barrett, B., Brown, R., Rakel, D., Mundt, M., Bone, K., Barlow, S., & Ewers, T. . Echinacea for Treating the Common ColdA Randomized Trial. Annals of internal medicine, 153, 769-777
Which Treatment Should I Use For Nasal Congestion
If you need immediate relief for swollen, congested nasal passages, you may get relief with an over-the-counter decongestant nasal spray. It is important to stop using decongestant nasal sprays after three days to avoid the development of rebound congestion.
Some doctors suggest using a saline spray instead of a medicated spray. Saline sprays loosen thick mucus in the nasal passageways but have no rebound effect. They may be used for extended periods of time without significant side effects.
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Should I Take A Z Pack For A Cold
There is no reason to take a Z pack to treat a cold. The common cold is a viral infection, most often a rhinovirus. Viruses are not susceptible to antibiotics such as the Z pack.
Specific antivirals may target and kill viruses, but the Z pack is not one of them. Taking the Z pack will not help with a cold in any way.
The common cold usually lasts a few days, and the body can deal with it without outside help.
So, in general, there is not much that a person needs to do when fighting a cold, as the body will do the most work.
However, there are some things a person can do to help support the body, including:
- drinking extra water
- getting plenty of rest
- avoiding too much activity
If symptoms become uncomfortable or interfere with daily life, over-the-counter drugs may help treat symptoms until the body can get rid itself of the underlying infection.
Some drugs, such as acetaminophen , target symptoms individually, which helps reduce fever and pain. Other drugs, such as cough syrups, may contain different medicines to treat many symptoms at once.
Always follow the instructions on the label and avoid using these drugs in children. Some drugs have childrens versions available, and anyone who is uncertain should talk to their pediatrician before dosing their child.
The common cold tends to go away on its own, as the body deals with the underlying viral infection. There are still steps a person can take to help prevent the cold or prevent the spread of the cold.
When Children Need Themand When They Dont
If your child has a sore throat, cough, or runny nose, you might expect the doctor to prescribe antibiotics. But most of the time, children dont need antibiotics to treat a respiratory illness. In fact, antibiotics can do more harm than good. Heres why:
Antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses.
If your child has a bacterial infection, antibiotics may help. But if your child has a virus, antibiotics will not help your child feel better or keep others from getting sick.
- The common cold and flu are both viruses.
- Chest colds are also usually caused by viruses.
- Bronchiolitis is particular type of chest cold that often causes wheezing and can make young infants very sick. It is also caused by a virus.
- Most sinus infections are caused by viruses. The symptoms are a lot of mucus in the nose and post-nasal drip.
- Mucus that is colored does not necessarily mean your child has a bacterial infection.
Antibiotics do not help treat viruses and some infections.
The flu is always caused by a virus. For these cases, antibiotics may be needed. There are special medications that can be used in some cases to fight the flu virus. Sometimes infants and children get bacterial infections on top of the flu. When a child has BOTH the flu and a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be needed.
Sometimes bacteria can cause sinus infections, but even then the infection usually clears up on its own in a week or so. Many common ear infections also clear up on their own without antibiotics.
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Which Flu Treatment Should I Take To Lower My Fever And Body Aches
Children under 19 should avoid aspirin. Acetaminophen or medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen are over-the-counter options for fever and pain relief. Each medication has risks. Check with your doctor or pharmacist as to which medication may be suitable for you.
Be careful not to overdose! These drugs are often mixed in with other multi-symptom cold and flu remedies you may also be taking. They may also be ingredients in other prescription medicines you may be taking. Your pharmacist can help you check for drug ingredients and interactions.
What Does Antibiotic Resistance Mean
According to the CDC, antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria changes in some way to reduce or eliminate the effectiveness of the antibiotic.
When bacteria are exposed to antibiotics repeatedly, such as when you take the medication needlessly or too frequently, the germs in your body start to evolve. These changes can make the germs stronger than before so they completely resist the antibiotic. Your illness may linger with no signs of improvement. Or your illness may suddenly take a turn for the worse, requiring you to seek emergency medical care. You may have to be admitted to the hospital and get several different antibiotics intravenously. Sadly, those around you may get the resistant bacteria and come down with a similar illness that is very difficult to treat.
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What Antiviral Drugs Are Recommended This Flu Season
There are four FDA-approved antiviral drugs recommended by CDC to treat flu this season.
- oseltamivir phosphate ,
- baloxavir marboxil .
Generic oseltamivirexternal icon and Tamiflu® are available as a pill or liquid suspension and are FDA approved for early treatment of flu in people 14 days and older. Zanamivir is a powder that is inhaled and approved for early treatment of flu in people 7 years and older. is administered using an inhaler device and is not recommended for people with breathing problems like asthma or COPD.) Oseltamivir and zanamivir are given twice a day for 5 days. Peramivir is given once intravenously by a health care provider and is approved for early treatment of flu in people 2 years and older. Baloxavir is a pill given as a single dose by mouth and is approved for early treatment of flu in people 12 years and older. is not recommended for pregnant people, breastfeeding people, outpatients with complicated or progressive illness, or hospitalized patients because there is no information about use of baloxavir in these patients.)
Colds And Flu: Do You Need Antibiotics
- Health Matters
- Colds and Flu: Do You Need Antibiotics?
COVID-19 has significantly changed the way we consider even minor coughs and cold-like symptoms. UR Medicine Primary Care‘s Dr. Michael Gavin offers advice on what to look for, when to call to your doctor, and whether or not antibiotics can help.
With winter upon us and another rise in COVID cases, we are seeing more and more coughs and colds. COVID-19 has significantly changed the way we consider even minor coughs and cold-like symptoms. To make matters more complicated, we’re seeing a return of non-COVID viruses such as RSV, Coxsackie , as well as stomach viruses. While there is a significant amount of information on the internet, its hard to determine what to trust.
Hundreds of different viruses can cause colds. Unfortunately, its almost impossible to tell at this time without testing to determine whether someone has COVID, or if they have another viral illness. When in doubt, contact your doctor, or get yourself tested for COVID if you have a fever or higher, chills, severe body aches or fatigue, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, cough, shortness of breath, vomiting, or diarrhea. For accurate updates on COVID, I recommend following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the University of Rochester Medical Center webpages.
If you test negative for COVID and still have cold-like symptoms, remember:
Have a safe and healthy winter!
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