What Are the Pros and Cons of Antibiotics for Babies?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 08 May 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
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There are both pros and cons to using antibiotics for babies. Among the pros is the fact that antibiotic treatment can kill harmful bacteria and help an infant feel better sooner. This treatment can also fight infections the body is unable to fight on its own. As far as the cons are concerned, however, these drugs can cause side effects. Additionally, their overuse or misuse can lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to drugs.

The main pro of using antibiotics is the fact that using them can help a baby recover from an illness. These drugs kill bacteria that can sicken a baby, and they help prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and thriving. In fact, in the case of severe illness, using antibiotics for babies can prove life saving.

Another pro of using antibiotics for babies is the speed with which they work. In many cases, administering an antibiotic means a baby will begin to feel better within just a day or two. This can differ dramatically from the amount of time it could take for the baby to experience improvement without these drugs. In some cases, an infant could be sick for days or even weeks before he starts to feel significantly better on his own. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the level and speed of improvement a baby experiences will typically depend on the infection with which he is struggling and the effectiveness of the particular antibiotic.

The pros of antibiotic use may prove particularly easy to understand when one considers the discomfort an ear infection can cause. When a baby has an ear infection, he can become fussy, experience pain, and develop a fever. If left untreated, the ear infection could eventually get better on its own. If the infant receives an antibiotic, however, he may improve days sooner than he would without medication. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that some ear infections do not improve without medical attention.

Vomiting and diarrhea as well as minor stomach cramping are included among the cons of using antibiotics for babies. Some babies will also develop fungal infections while using antibiotics, including those that develop in the diaper area or mouth. Additionally, allergic reactions to these medicines are possible. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include rashes, hives, wheezing, difficulty swallowing, and excessive drooling.

The potential for overuse of antibiotics is also a cause for concern when it comes to using these drugs for babies. Likewise, failure to take all of one's prescribed antibiotics can lead to problems. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics has been linked to the development of drug-resistant bacteria. This can prove a serious consequence, as a baby who develops a drug-resistant bacterial infection may need stronger drugs to fight it or may lose the fight altogether.


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Post 2

I agree with your comment Rundocuri. While there are times when babies need antibiotics to treat certain illnesses, many doctors over-prescribe them. It is up to parents to make the best decision about giving medications to their babies after consulting with their doctors.

Post 1

This article gives good information about the pros and the cons that parents must think about when giving babies antibiotics. These issues are why it is vital that parents discuss all options and possible side effects with their doctors to make informed decisions about giving these drugs to their young children.

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