It is not uncommon to be prescribed antibiotics when we’re feeling under the weather, have a nasty infection, or even suffering from certain diseases. However, there is often an overlooked aspect when it comes to antibiotics: side effects. While you might think, “that doesn’t apply to me,” you might be surprised how incredibly common it is to experience side effects from prescribed antibiotics. Below are eight possible side effects of antibiotics and how they can affect your body.
8. Bodily Infections Resistant to Antibiotics
While antibiotics are meant to treat bacteria and illnesses, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics. This occurs due to the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in the foods we’re consuming. The CDC mentions, “Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can cause illnesses that were once easily treatable with antibiotics to become untreatable, leading to dangerous infections. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are often more difficult to kill and more expensive to treat. In some cases, the antibiotic-resistant infections can lead to serious disability or even death.”
7. Infections Taking Longer to Heal
Due to the overuse of antibiotics, people are consequently taking longer to heal from infections that were once easily treated. Per the Council of Foreign Affairs, “antibiotics are facing an existential crisis less than a century since their introduction. The bacteria-fighting drugs are becoming less effective as a result of their overuse in both humans and animals.”
6. Allergies and Asthma
A study published on April 2, 2018, analyzed the health records of more than 792,000 children born between 2001 and 2013 and found a link between babies who took antibiotics (or antacids) between birth and six months of age and the development of allergies as well as asthma. According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Edward Mitre, exposure to antibiotics appeared to double children’s future asthma risk, while also promoting a 50 percent increase in the risk of developing allergies to dust, dander and pollen, eye allergies, and anaphylaxis.
Another common side effect of antibiotics is diarrhea. This can lead to further implications such as dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. It is also possible for diarrhea to persist for weeks after you stop taking antibiotics. This common side effect can be experienced by both adults and children who are prescribed antibiotics.
4. ExhaustionRelated: 10 Pain Medication Secrets Your Doctor May Not Tell You
While many people don’t think feeling tired and exhausted due to taking antibiotics is possible, it is. As it is, being sick is enough to make you feel worn out, but to add to this, antibiotics can make you feel even more exhausted. It is very common to experience extreme fatigue while on antibiotics.
3. Swollen, Black or Hairy Tongue
Yes, a black or hairy tongue is a possible side effect caused by amoxicillin–a penicillin-type of antibiotic. Other common side effects amoxicillin causes include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, headache, and rashes. While you might initially think a hairy tongue is as bad as it gets, you should think again. Other serious side effects can include colitis, jaundice, seizures, and hives.
2. Disruption in Menstrual Cycle
While not exactly set in stone, and a very much debated topic, this effect of antibiotics is experienced by some women. Since antibiotics and hormones both need to be processed by the liver, there is some validity to antibiotics affecting estrogen and progesterone metabolism in women.
1. Hallucinations, Psychotic Reactions, and Tendon RupturesRelated: 7 Best Natural Antibiotics
A type of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones have been found to cause damage to mitochondria and also cause irreversible nerve damage. They have also been linked to other side effects including depression, brain fog, hallucinations, and psychotic reactions. About ten years ago, the FDA required makers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics to place a “black box” warning on the drugs to warn both prescribing doctors and patients of the potential risk of tendonitis and even tendon ruptures.