Why antibiotics are not useful against viruses?

Antibiotics are drugs that kill or prevent the growth of certain classes of sensitive microorganisms (bacteria in general), treating infections caused by germs, or preventing the onset of infections.

If we take into account which are the main consequences of taking antibiotics , it is quite usual to prescribe them together with stomach protectors, since they can cause upset stomach and other digestive as well as intestinal disorders, such as diarrhea or black or bloody stools. In addition, they may alter the vaginal microbiota and cause the candidiasis It reproduces uncontrollably, causing the appearance of the annoying itching and thick white flow.

On many occasions we have told you about the risks of self-medication. And, among those risks - or rather, consequences - one of the most common mistakes is take antibiotics before the appearance of any infection, without our doctor has seen us and indeed have prescribed, and especially without knowing if it is an infection caused by a virus or a bacterium. For example, when faced with a cold or any other viral infection (such as upper respiratory tract infections or ear infections), it is often a common mistake to use antibiotics; definitely, It would be taking a medication as a treatment for certain infections that can not really cure.

And, as you surely know, antibiotics are only effective against bacteria, so that if we make the mistake of self-medicating for some time before an infection that was originally caused by a virus, these they will lose their effectiveness so that when we really need them, they may not fully comply with their objective, since the bacteria will eventually become resistant to this type of medication.

The reason why antibiotics are not effective against viruses is that these drugs are directed to bacterial membranes that have different characteristics from those of viruses, or to internal processes that allow bacteria to live. they do not exist in viruses.

In case of a condition caused by a virus the doctor will prescribe a antiviral, which has specific effects against the components of viruses, whose routes do not exist in bacteria.

Image | Iqbal Osman This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor.

Lucy Shapiro: Why antibiotics don't kill viruses (December 2021)