Antibiotics are medicines that are prescribed against bacterial infections. They work their way in the body, by killing the bacteria that are responsible for the illness or health condition. At present, there are over a hundred antibiotics available, which cure everything, right from minor infections to some serious health conditions.
Some of the most popularly prescribed antibiotics are - Penicillins, Macrolides, Tetracyclines, Cephalosporins, Fluoroquinolones, Aminoglycosides and Sulfonamides. Although, antibiotics can prove to be very effective, yet, they are known to produce a variety of side effects, in both men and women.
Side Effects of Antibiotics in Women
It is not necessary that everyone who takes an antibiotic, will experience a side effect. Yet, people who are already taking some other medication, are suffering from some other health condition besides the bacterial infection for which they are taking antibiotics or have taken antibiotics with an inappropriate food item, are much more likely to experience the below given side effects.
Some of these are experienced by men too. Have a look...
- Diarrhea is one of the commonly experienced side effect. Antibiotics upset the stomach and lead to indigestion, soft stools and gas. Abdominal cramping and vomiting is often a common occurrence in women, to whom antibiotics have proved to be unsuitable.
- Some women experience a certain type of discharge from their vagina, which is not the same as the one they usually get throughout their monthly cycle. Usage of antibiotics can lead to itching in the vaginal area, along with the discharge, in some women.
- Antibiotics can cause an allergic reaction, which produces symptoms, such as, difficulty in breathing, swelling in the face, lips and tongue, dizziness, itching, hives, white colored patches on the tongue, etc.
- If a woman uses pills as a birth control method, she should be very cautious when taking antibiotics. Researches have shown that oral antibiotics can reduce the effect of the birth control pills and can render them useless in some cases.
- Vaginal yeast infections are experienced by women as a result of the side effects caused by antibiotics. Tetracycline is the antibiotic which is mostly responsible for producing this side effect.
- If a woman on antibiotics takes alcohol, then she is much more likely to experience giddiness and sleepiness. Alcohol and antibiotics, when taken together, can prove to be a health disaster for any woman.
- Amoxicillin, a type of penicillin, is prescribed to treat infections of the throat, ear, tonsils, skin and larynx. It is prescribed to cure health conditions like bronchitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infection as well as gonorrhea. Particularly speaking of side effects of amoxicillin in women, the most common ones are heartburn, diarrhea, dizziness, problems in sleeping, vomiting, nausea, itchiness, pain in the stomach, rashes, allergic reactions in the body, easy bruising and bleeding.
- Certain researches have found a link between breast cancer and usage of antibiotics in women. This in no way means that antibiotics cause breast cancer, but yes, the reason could be that some women are biologically predisposed to breast cancer as they have a hormonal imbalance. Due to this imbalance, they get bacterial infections easily, leading to increased usage of antibiotics
As can be seen, there are numerous risks and side effects associated with antibiotic usage. In order to ensure that these side effects are minimized, antibiotics should be taken, in accordance to the prescription. Secondly, as antibiotics cannot treat viral and fungal infections, they should only be taken in case of a bacterial infection. Lastly, as soon as any of these side effects appear, a doctor should be contacted immediately, to avoid further complications and health risks.