Side effects of antibiotics


Antibiotics are drugs that literally mean “against life”. As the name suggests, they are originally substances that are produced in the metabolism of bacterial or fungal cultures and can kill other living beings. Furthermore, they can even inhibit growth, or even prevent reproduction.

Today, antibiotics are mostly produced synthetically in the laboratory by various methods or are obtained by genes. In a narrower sense, antibiotics are used medically to combat bacterial diseases that have arisen as a result of infections. Due to the origin of the name, it can be immediately assumed that they are not only a means of salvation, but that dangers and risks are also associated with the intake of an antibiotic.

In this article, we will mainly focus on side effects of our largest organ, the skin, our joints, the psyche, the mouth and the intestines, as well as body temperature through fever and toothache. The fact that antibiotics can have side effects on any of these organs shows how varied the side effects of an antibiotic can be and at the same time how risky such a treatment can be. However, if you follow a few basic tips (e.g. always take the antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor and do not stop taking the medicine before then, do not exercise during the time you are taking the antibiotics and keep physical rest), you can significantly reduce the risk of being affected by the antibiotic side effects. Despite all these risks, it is important not to lump all antibiotics together, because there are over ten different types of antibiotics that have different effects in the body, because they work differently from a chemical and biological point of view. It is not possible to go into all subgroups in detail here, as we are mainly concerned with the side effects.

Antibiotics Side effects on the skin

The skin is the largest organ in the human body. If it were to be unfolded completely, it could be about 2 square meters, depending on body size and weight. In addition, symptoms of many diseases often appear first on the skin.

Also when taking antibiotics as a result of a bacterial infection, the skin can become uncomfortable. As mentioned above, the skin is our largest organ in terms of surface area. In addition, it serves as a communication channel between our body and the environment and as a barrier to it.

After discontinuing various antibiotics, some patients complain about an increased occurrence of pimples and in fact this can be a late consequence of antibiotic therapy. Our skin is a very important organ for excretion and tries to remove toxins through sweat. However, the pimples should disappear after one week at the latest.

Another side effect of antibiotics is joint pain. However, these are usually rather rare and depend on which antibiotic you take. The so-called gyrase inhibitors inhibit the DNA multiplication of bacteria, which is important for their multiplication.

Drugs that do this include ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin. These drugs cause changes and pain in tissues that do not have a good blood supply, for example in joints. This happens through chemical changes in the connective tissue within the joint.

Young people and adolescents are most likely to be affected, as growing joints are particularly sensitive. In adults, the prolonged intake of antibiotics leads to a faster breakdown of the joint substance (synovia) and can result in osteoarthritis. Therefore, if possible, the intake should be temporary and a doctor should assess the risk-benefit ratio.