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Handle with Caution: Antibiotics May Cause These Side Effects

Antibiotics have long had a mixed reputation. It effectively helps fight bacterial infections, which typically don’t disappear on their own. But since it’s viewed as some of the most commonly prescribed medicines in the United States, it also tends to become overprescribed.

Although it is a lifesaving part of modern medicine when used right, like most medicines, these can also have side-effects on your body. Here are some of them:

Digestive Problems

Probably one of the most common issues that could happen when taking antibiotics, gastrointestinal issues can mess with you while maintaining antibiotics. These problems include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea associated with antibiotics.

Experts recommend drinking lots of fluids and avoiding food high in fiber until you don’t have to take your antibiotics.

Antibiotics may cause gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea

Sensitivity to the Sun

Due to how the skin reacts to UV light while on medication, some antibiotics can increase the risk of getting sunburn, blisters, and peelers, and damaging the skin cells. Experts advise avoiding prolonged sun exposure, especially between 10 AM to 2 PM, while you’re on medication. If it’s unavoidable for you, just make sure to wear protective clothing and apply broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Double Vision

Also called diplopia, double vision can be caused by fluoroquinolone, according to a 2009 study published in Ophthalmology. Since this antibiotic has also been linked to tendonitis, researchers have made theories that the pain and stiffness of your eye muscles may be to blame for the side effect. Experts say that vision and neurological exams should be taken to determine the actual cause.


Another common side-effect is a headache. If it’s not because you lack sleep or need coffee, then it is probably due to the antibiotics you’ve been taking. Unless it’s severe, there’s no need to rush to the hospital. Over-the-counter analgesics can usually help.

Headache is one of the most common side effects

Fungal Infections

Since antibiotics can mess with your body’s bacterial makeup, you may be left vulnerable to fungal growth and yeast infection. These can usually be found on the mouth, under the nails, or on your skin. Taking some anti-yeast meds may help, but do check with your doctor just to be sure.

Drug Interactions

Some antibiotics may hinder other medicines from functioning properly. For alcohol, consuming it while on antibiotics can cause headache, flushing, nausea, vomiting, and rapid heartbeat. However, experts say that having 1 or two drinks is okay.

Depression and Anxiety

Along with penicillin, Fluoroquinolones are also linked to anxiety and depression. In a study found in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2015, the more antibiotics you take in your life, the more likely you’ll become depressed or anxious in the coming years.

Since antibiotics can affect your body’s microbiome makeup, it can also mess with neurological pathways, your metabolism, and your immunity. All these can affect your mental health in the long run.

Since antibiotics can mess with neurological pathways, it can affect your mental health


In the past, fluoroquinolones was a popular remedy for bronchitis, pneumonia, and urinary tract infection. However, doctors are now realizing that it causes more damage than good. It can damage tendons, which connect muscles to your bones. Because of this, the FDA has been putting warnings to the packaging, saying that it should only be used as a last resort.


Allergic reactions are the most common reason for people being rushed to the emergency room. Some of the symptoms include rash breakout, swollen lips, and shortness of breath. If it turns severe, it can cause an anaphylactic reaction, which has the throat swelling until it shuts.

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