Antibiotics kill bacteria in the human body. They are, for example, penicillin and tetracycline. Analgin, aspirin, as well as substances designed to fight microbes in the external environment do not relate to antibiotics.
Antibiotics kill only bacteria, they are powerless in front of viruses and fungi – in this case prolonged admission of antibiotics may even provoke fungal diseases such as candidiasis. Often bacteria develop antibiotics resistance, and the doctor has to choose another medication for treatment.
In addition to the useful antibiotics effects – the destruction of harmful microbes – antibiotics have many side effects. Often these are toxic chemicals that adversely affect the liver. Many antibiotics, especially those of the gentamicin group, have the ability to affect kidney and inner ear cells, as well as other organs.
In addition, most antibiotics destroy both harmful and beneficial microorganisms. As a result, the body is deprived of protection from beneficial bacteria, living, for example, on the skin or in the intestine – there is a rash, dysbiosis and other antibiotics side effects. At the same time, harmful microbes often survive, because they have developed antibiotics resistance.
Sometimes even harmless bacteria can acquire harmful properties under the influence of antibiotics. Such new strains (varieties of microbes) most often live inside hospitals and are distributed by the employees. The most dangerous of them (for example, Staphylococcus) often prove to be resistant even to the newest and strongest antibiotics.
Can you take antibiotics while pregnant?
During pregnancy, antibiotics can be used, but only on strict indications, when there is a very good reason for that. This is just the case, which is written in the instruction: “If the expected benefit exceeds the risk for the mother and fetus.” In any case, you need to do this only under the strict supervision of the doctor and usually in the hospital (department of pregnancy pathology in the hospital).
In the first trimester, most drugs can harm a developing embryo, so it is better to avoid using antibiotics in this period. The second and third trimesters are safer, but for each medicine there are terms when it can not be used. These facts should be well known to your doctor.
Many bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, so, you’d better test their sensitivity before starting treatment. The test results will show which bacterium caused the disease and which antibiotic can treat it.
If the sensitivity test can not be conducted for some reason, the doctor prescribes a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which kills every bacterium, if possible.
When you can’t do without antibiotics during pregnancy
The most common reasons why antibiotics are prescribed for pregnant women are:
- Pyelonephritis of pregnant women;
- Inflammation of the lungs, severe bronchitis, tonsillitis;
- Severe intestinal infections;
- Purulent wounds and extensive injuries, burns;
- Severe infectious complications, such as sepsis, blood poisoning;
- Specific diseases caused by rare bacteria: tick-borne borrelliosis, brucellosis, etc.
In all these cases, the use of antibiotics is justified and necessary in order to avoid even greater complications. That is, the benefit for the mother is much higher than the risk for the fetus.
The main danger of antibiotics action is not for the mother, but for her developing baby. Many of them penetrate the fetal bloodstream through the placenta and can produce a harmful effect on the organ which is currently most intensively growing.
Antibiotics classification during pregnancy:
- Prohibited completely, due to the proven toxic effect on the fetus;
- Allowed, the absence of harmful effect is proved;
- The effect on the fetus has not been studied, so it can only be applied in case of emergency.
Antibiotics prohibited in pregnancy
- Tetracycline, doxycycline – pass through the placenta, accumulate in the bones and dentition of the fetus, disrupting their mineralization. Toxic for the liver.
- Fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, ciprolet, nolycin, abaktal, floxal, etc.) are prohibited, there are no reliable safety studies of pregnant women. Damage the joints of the fetus.
- Clarithromycin (klatsid, fromilid, klabaks) – safety of use in pregnancy is not known. There is evidence of toxic effects on the fetus.
- Midekamycin, roxithromycin (macropen, rulid) is the same as clarithromycin.
- Aminoglycosides (kanamycin, tobramycin, streptomycin) – pass through the placenta, give a high risk of complications of the kidneys and inner ear of the fetus, can cause deafness in the newborn. Gentamicin belongs to the same group, but its use is permitted according to vital indications in strictly calculated dosages.
- Furazidine (furamag, furagin), nifuroxazide (erysefuril, enterofuril) – are forbidden due to potentially harmful effect, there is no data on safety in pregnant women.
- Chloramphenicol (Levomycetin, Synthomycin, Olazole) is prohibited. Rapidly passes through the placenta in high concentrations. Oppresses the fetal bone marrow and disrupts the division of blood cells, especially in late pregnancy.
- Dioxydin – often used in surgical practice for disinfection of wounds. It is forbidden during pregnancy, as a toxic and mutagenic effect on the fetus was detected in animals.
- Co-trimoxazole (biseptol, bactrim, groseptol). It consists of two substances: sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, which passes through the placenta in high concentrations. Trimethoprim is an active antagonist of folic acid (antivitamin). Increases the risk of congenital malformations, heart defects, slows the growth of the fetus.
Antibiotics allowed in extreme cases
- Azithromycin (sumamed, zitrolid, zi-factor, chemomycin) – is used only in case of emergency, for example, with chlamydia infection in pregnant women. Negative effect on the fetus is not revealed.
- Nitrofurantoin (furadonin) – allowed only in the second trimester; in the first and third trimester the drug is prohibited.
- Metronidazole (clion, trichopolum, metrogil, flagel) – is prohibited in the first trimester, as can cause defects in the brain, limbs and genitals in the fetus. In the second and third trimestern application is allowed in the absence of a safer alternative.
- Gentamicin – use is allowed only for life indications (sepsis, blood poisoning) in strictly calculated dosages. When the dose is exceeded, there is a risk that the child may be born deaf.
Antibiotics safe in pregnancy
All of the following drugs can be used in pregnancy. However, we must remember that any antibiotic is a potent medicine and it can not be taken without the doctor’s permission.
- Penicillin and its analogues (amoxicillin, amoxiclav, ampicillin) pass through the placenta, however, as a rule, there is no harmful effect on the fetus. In pregnancy. the drug is excreted by the kidneys at an accelerated pace.
- Cephalosporins – cefazolin, cefalexin, ceftriaxone, cefuroxime, cefixime (suprax), cefoperazone, cefotaxime, ceftazidime, cefepime – are used in pregnancy without restrictions. Pass through the placenta in low concentrations. Negative effect on the fetus is not revealed.
- Erythromycin, as well as josamycin (vilprafen) and spiramycin (rovamycin) – are acceptable for use. Pass through the placenta in low concentrations. Do not cause violations of fetal development and congenital anomalies. You may buy antibiotics online from Canadian Health&Care Mall.
Antibiotics and conception
Often a woman does not know that she is pregnant and takes antibiotics. What to do in this case? Will it hurt the child? If the antibiotic was from a safe group, then it is likely not to hurt. The drug which is forbidden during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage in the early stages.
All you can do in this situation is to cancel an antibiotic at once as soon as you learn about pregnancy. Then you have to wait. If the medicine has a bad effect on the embryo, a miscarriage may occur. If it did not work at all and the embryo survived, then it is likely to develop without any further deviations.
To check whether the development of the embryo has stopped, you can make a blood test for hCG, preferably two or three times. Several identical results or a too low indicator will indicate a frozen pregnancy. Another criterion is vaginal ultrasound, but it is not informative during the first 4 weeks of pregnancy
It is not necessary to resort to abortion only because of the fear that the child will be born with a deviation in development.
If the pregnancy is only planned and it is long-awaited, then it is better to refuse using antibiotics and other medications in this period.