When does the use of antibiotics for bronchitis arise? And do all cases of the condition require these drugs? If yes, then what are the commonly prescribed ones, and their possible side effects? The following gives you the answers to all these questions.
One of the common disorders of the lungs is what is known as bronchitis. This condition gets its name from its nature to affect the structures which act as the transporter of oxygen to and from the lungs. These structures are known as bronchial tubes, and when they get inflamed and irritated, the condition is known as bronchitis. It may occur in two forms; some people may have acute bronchitis, while some may complain against recurring bronchitis symptoms which may indicate that they have chronic form of the condition; which unfortunately is incurable. Speaking of the chronic form first, the major cause for it is long-term smoking. Long-term exposure to air pollution, dust or toxic gases in the environment or workplace may also cause the same. Now speaking of acute bronchitis, it maybe a repercussion of a bacterial infection, viral infection, or it may also result from inhaling foreign matters into the lungs. More often than not, acute bronchitis follows an episode of cold and flu, which may imply that a viral infection that causes these infections, also causes bronchitis. However, in some cases, a bacterial infection can get diagnosed as the causal agent. And this is when, antibiotics are used for the treating the condition.
Commonly Prescribed Antibiotics for Bronchitis
- Amoxicillin, (Amoxil, Dispermox)
- Azithromycin, (Zithromax)
- Clarithromycin, (Biaxin, Biaxin XL)
- Cephalexin (Keflex, Biocef)
- Doxycycline (Doryx, Monodox)
- Erythromycin (Eryc, EryPed)
When is Bronchitis Treated With Antibiotics?
If the infection has been caused by a bacterial infection, then antibiotics maybe recommended to be used. However, if the affected individual has no other health complaints except bronchitis, then antibiotics may not be the first line of defense. A person’s age, risk of complications and overall health are some important factors which influence a doctor’s discretion in prescribing antibiotics.
Dosage and Side Effects of Antibiotics
This segment is on the recommended dosage of the antibiotics commonly administered for the treatment of bronchitis. It also lists down the possible side effects that may get triggered in the body after the use of these drugs. Note that, dosage of some of these drugs are not specified as they depend on factors such as age, severity, and the causal agent. Also, some of them share similar side effects.
- Diarrhea; maybe watery or may contain blood in it
- Yeast infection in the vagina or the mouth (oral thrush)
- Increased anxiety
- Allergic responses such as hives, itching, swelling, and breathing problems
|250 – 500||Once daily||3 – 5 days|
- Pain in the abdominal region
- Allergic reaction characterized by skin rash that develops for no apparent reason
- The patient may develop an abnormal taste in his mouth
- Indigestion maybe caused by the antibiotic
- Pain in the stomach or abdominal region
|250 – 1000||4 times a day||7 – 14 days|
- Sores may develop in the mouth including the throat area; may make swallowing difficult
- Stools may contain blood
- Breathing difficulty
- Swollen throat
- Easy bleeding and bruising
- Abnormal peeling of the skin
|100 – 200||Once a day||7 – 14 days|
- The skin may become increasingly sensitive to sunlight
- Heartburn; maybe accompanied by indigestion
- Hunger may get suppressed
|400 – 800||every 6 – 12 hours||Not standardized|
- Pain in the abdomen
- Feeling nauseous
- Poor feeding
As you can see, some side effects are common in all these medications. In most cases, doctors recommend antibiotics to treat acute bronchitis. However, chronic bronchitis, although is not usually caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics may still be recommended to prevent any secondary bacterial infection.