Why antibiotics for coronavirus can be dangerous

Why antibiotics for coronavirus can be dangerous

The diagnosis of COVID-19 and even the fear of it often leads people to take antibiotics at the first hint of cold symptoms. Many experts in the scientific community believe that taking these drugs “to prevent complications” is like shooting yourself in the foot.

Below I will tell you at least four reasons why taking antibiotics at the first sign of a possible coronavirus infection is not only useless, but even deadly.

1. Antibiotics do not cure coronavirus

COVID-19 is a viral infection. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses. They are designed as antimicrobial drugs. This means that such drugs can only kill microbial, bacterial infections.

But the SARS-CoV-2 virus is completely indifferent to antibiotics: even if you decide to take 10 of these drugs at once, it will multiply and feel fine. Which is not the case for you (but more on that later).

Another issue is that in some patients, viral COVID-19 may be joined by bacterial complications, such as bacterial pneumonia. But this does not always happen. Statistically, only about 7% of coronavirus patients have a concomitant bacterial infection.

Also, germ-induced pneumonia is hard to miss because it has characteristic signs:

  • a distinct worsening of your condition after you seem to be feeling better;
  • a rapid rise in temperature, often over 39 °C;
  • a bad, persistent cough, often with sputum;
  • shortness of breath that comes on easily;
  • rapid heartbeat.

If you have these symptoms, consult a general practitioner as soon as possible. The doctor will clarify the diagnosis (a good specialist will do this after you have undergone X-rays and blood tests) and prescribe the necessary medications. If bacterial pneumonia is confirmed, he may also prescribe antibiotics.

Summary: Bacterial pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics. Viral COVID-19 is not.

2. “Antibiotic prophylaxis” makes treatment difficult

The fact is that bacteria mutate very quickly – “get used” to antimicrobial agents, develop resistance to them (antibiotic resistance). This is how superinfections occur.

If you have taken an antibiotic “for prevention” without indications, there is a high risk that when a bacterial infection sets in, the germs will not respond to the familiar medication. This means that the usual inexpensive pills or suspensions will not help you.

To cure “superinfectious” bacterial pneumonia, you will have to take or even inject into a vein completely different drugs, usually more expensive and more powerful, with more side effects, and in larger quantities. But even this does not guarantee success.

This is also confirmed by doctors. According to hospital statistics, 73% of deaths occurred when patients were admitted late in the course of illness, and most deaths were caused by superinfections that led to sepsis.

Summary: Most coronavirus patients are not killed by COVID-19 itself, but by superbacteria grown on uncontrolled antibiotic intake.

3. The mass antibiotic craze can lead to many deaths in the future

The WHO (World Health Organization) has been calling antibiotic resistance one of the most serious threats to human health for years.

The reason is simple: uncontrolled, mass consumption of antibiotics leads to the fact that more and more dangerous bacteria become antibiotic-resistant. That is, existing antimicrobials are no longer effective against them. And new, effective antibiotics are not easy to create – it takes years.

Because of the constant use of antibiotics, people may one day find that all medications no longer help them, and that some recently curable bacterial infections are no longer amenable to therapy.

Summary: If you do not start taking antibiotics, even angina or cystitis can soon become deadly diseases.

4. Antibiotics have serious side effects

This information is for those who are not ready to think about the future and think that right now it is better to be on the safe side and take antibiotics “for prevention”.

Did you know that antimicrobial drugs have a number of side effects that increase if you use more than one antibiotic, and do so while taking other COVID-19 drugs? This common side effects include:

  • A variety of stomach upsets, including long-lasting ones;
  • Drug-induced fever. This is the name given to the rise in temperature caused by taking antibiotics;
  • Allergic reactions. Skin rashes (hives), coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the throat are just a few possible examples;
  • Blood disorders. This could be a decrease in the number of white blood cells (leukopenia), which would lead to a sharp decrease in immunity. Or, for example, a decrease in platelet counts (thrombocytopenia) with consequences in the form of poor blood clotting, bleeding and an abundance of bruising all over the body;
  • Heart problems. In particular, hypotension and arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat);
  • Inflammation of tendons (tendinitis);
  • Neurotoxic reactions.

Some antibiotics, including those used in COVID-19 therapy, may affect the nervous system. Seizures, weakness, headaches and dizziness, balance disorders, hallucinations, restlessness to the point of developing anxiety disorders are just some of these effects. These effects sometimes last for months and even lead to a loss of performance.

Summary: If you plan to take an antibiotic, be sure to read the list of contraindications and side effects. And let’s repeat: never start taking it without symptoms of a bacterial infection and direct instructions from your doctor.

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