Antibiotics for Cystic Fibrosis
How It Works
Antibiotics kill bacteria that cause infection. After your doctor has determined what type of bacteria is present, he or she will prescribe the right kind of antibiotic. Antibiotics come as a pill or liquid, as an aerosol that is inhaled deep into the lungs, or as an injection.
Why It Is Used
Antibiotics can reduce the damage caused by lung infections in people who have cystic fibrosis. When they are given at the first sign of a lung infection, they may prevent lasting infection and the problems that can arise from it.
How Well It Works
Antibiotics improve how well the lungs work and help prevent lung problems from getting worse.
Inhaled antibiotics such as tobramycin help improve the health of the lungs and prevent flare-ups in people who have moderate to severe cystic fibrosis. And they help prevent flare-ups in people who have mild cystic fibrosis.1
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call your doctor right away if you have:
Common side effects of oral antibiotics (pill or liquid) include:
Common side effects of inhaled or injected antibiotics include:
Some inhaled antibiotics can irritate the lungs and cause coughing. Some may also taste and smell bad.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Some oral antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin, can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Advice for women
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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