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Symptoms and Signs of Antibiotics Side Effects and Types

Doctor's Notes on Antibiotics Side Effects and Types

Antibiotics frequently prescribed medications that are used to cure disease by killing or injuring bacteria. The first antibiotic was penicillin and today over 100 different antibiotics are used to cure everything from minor to life-threatening infections. The main classes of antibiotics include penicillins, cephalosporins, macrolides, fluoroquinolones, sulfonamides, tetracyclines, and aminoglycosides. Antibiotics will only treat bacterial infections. They are useless against viral infections such as the common cold and fungal infections such as ringworm.

Common side effects of antibiotics may include soft stools or diarrhea or mild stomach upset. Tell your doctor if you have more serious side effects while taking antibiotics including vomiting, severe watery diarrhea and abdominal cramps, allergic reaction (shortness of breath, hives, itching, swelling of lips, face, or tongue, or fainting), rash, vaginal itching or discharge, or white patches on the tongue.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/21/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.