Antibiotics come in various forms to cover a large degree of preventative measures. Antibiotic treatment might include creams and ointments, as well as broad-spectrum antibiotics, known for defending against a wide array of bacteria. Narrow-spectrum antibiotics typically work against a group-specific area of bacteria. The type of antibiotics prescribed typically would depend on the patient's individual needs and circumstances.
The purpose of antibiotic treatment is to prevent infection from invading bacteria or destroy any infection already present within the body. Some groups of antibiotics, those of which come in pill or tablet form, are related to a specific classification. One example is an antibiotic containing the suffix of 'mycin.' Erythromycin is one such drug. Others in the same group include the antibiotics clindamycin and vancomycin.
Types of antibiotics that are generally prescribed for streptococcus infections are drugs such as penicillin. Allergic reactions can occur in patients with no prior history of incidence. In that case, the antibiotic treatment might include a course of cephalexin or amoxicillin in place of penicillin. The prescription given to the patient is typically a 10-day course of treatment, although this can vary somewhat.
There are antibiotics classified as macrolide-type drugs, which are commonly prescribed for a wide range of illnesses affecting the upper and lower respiratory tract. Penicillin allergy patients might find they tolerate these drugs well, but there have been reported cases of intestinal tract distress associated with the usage of these antibiotics. Side effects of these antibiotics might include indigestion, heartburn and diarrhea. Normally, the effects subside within a couple of days, but if symptoms persist, the doctor might change the prescription to one that is more tolerated by the patient.
There are issues surrounding antibiotic treatment, in particular with long-term usage. A major concern is the body developing an immunity or antibiotic resistance. In such a case, future use would become ineffective against strains of bacteria the drug was initially targeted for. Another concern is the actual eradication of bacteria the drug is aimed at. When an antibiotic destroys harmful and infectious bacteria, the drug also kills off the beneficial bacteria in the body.
The 'good' bacteria that is found in the body generally keep potentially harmful organisms from multiplying. Overuse of antibiotics might result in such conditions as a vaginal yeast infection in some women, as the beneficial bacteria that is needed to maintain optimal health has diminished. Occasionally, physicians recommend the usage of a probiotic supplement along with antibiotic treatment to ensure beneficial bacteria is replenished.