Antibiotics, also known as antibacterials, are types of medications that destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria. The Greek word anti means "against", and the Greek word bios means "life" (bacteria are life forms). Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Bacteria are microscopic organisms, some of which may cause illness. The word bacteria is the plural of bacterium.

Such illnesses as syphilis, tuberculosis, salmonella, and some forms of meningitis are caused by bacteria. Some bacteria are harmless, while others are good for us.

This Medical News Today article contains essential information on what antibiotics are, how they work, what they are used for, their possible side effects, the risk of allergic reactions, and how to use them.

The US National Library of Medicine1 says that antibiotics - powerful medicines that fight bacterial infections - can save lives when used properly. Antibiotics either stop bacteria from reproducing or kill them.Your body's natural defenses can usually take it from there.

Before bacteria can multiply and cause symptoms, the body's immune system can usually destroy them. We have special white blood cells that attack harmful bacteria. Even if symptoms do occur, our immune system can usually cope and fight off the infection. There are occasions, however, when it is all too much and some help is needed.....from antibiotics