Infusion Antibiotics Explained: When Are They Needed?

Since the first widespread use of penicillin back around 1940, antibiotics have played a critical role in helping people of all ages fight off harmful infections. But sometimes, pills and shots just don’t provide the level of medication your body needs to destroy the germs causing an infection, leaving your body exposed to more long-term serious medical problems.

At DOCCS, we offer infusion antibiotic therapy as an alternative to traditional antibiotic treatments, providing our patients with custom-tailored treatments that can help them successfully treat their infections, so they can get back to good health. Here's how it works.

The science of antibiotics

Your immune system is your body’s built-in defense against harmful pathogens, including bacteria that cause infections and serious illnesses. The immune system can be very effective in fighting off a lot of infections and diseases, but it’s not effective against all types of bacteria. What’s more, even if your immune system has the tools it needs to fight specific bacteria, if the colonies of those germs are very large, they can overwhelm your body’s natural defenses and wind up causing an infection anyway.

Antibiotics are medicines that help supplement your natural immunity or provide your body with immunity it doesn’t produce naturally. There are many types of antibiotic medicines, and they work in various ways to either kill harmful bacteria (bactericidal antibiotics) or to prevent the bacteria from growing and reproducing (bacteriostatic antibiotics). The way they perform these actions can vary based on the medication and the type of bacteria they’re fighting. For instance, penicillin is a type of antibiotic that prevents harmful bacteria from building cell walls. Penicillin is specific to bacteria, which means it acts on bacteria without harming other types of cells.

Even though they're designed to be harmless to nongerm cells, antibiotics can still cause allergies in some people, and they're not always meant to be taken in large doses or for very long periods of time. When taken for a long period, antibiotics can cause gastrointestinal problems, and in some cases, they may become less effective. Getting the right type and the right dose of antibiotics is critical for stopping infections and helping you get back to good health.

How infusion antibiotic therapy works

Most antibiotics are given orally or by an injection. While both methods can be effective in certain circumstances, they're not always successful in treating very serious, advanced or complex infections. That's because each of these methods provides a limited, focused boost of medication rather than the more prolonged effect that's necessary in battling some types of germs. 

Oral antibiotics can provide a more continuous supply of antibiotic medicine than a single shot at your doctor’s office, but even so, they still have limitations. First, oral antibiotics tend to irritate the gastrointestinal tract. The germ-fighting medicines can wind up harming the good bacteria your gut needs to properly and completely digest foods and extract nutrients. When taken over a long period of time, antibiotics can cause stomach upset and bowel problems which can cause other symptoms and medical problems of their own.

Plus, because they need to pass through the digestive tract to be broken down before reaching the site of infection, oral antibiotics can often wind up becoming diluted, which makes them less effective in fighting off germs.

In infusion antibiotic therapy, antibiotics are administered in a continuous dose through an IV line, which delivers the medication directly to your bloodstream. By bypassing the gastrointestinal tract entirely, you eliminate the risk of stomach and bowel irritation while also making sure more of the pure medication reaches the site of the infection more quickly. At DOCCS, infusion antibiotic therapy is customized for each patient's medical needs, and therapy can be provided once a day or more often as needed to help patients achieve rapid, effective and sustained healing.

Infusion antibiotics and your health: Get the treatment you need

If you have a serious infection or an infection that just isn’t responding to normal oral antibiotic therapy or antibiotic injections, infusion antibiotics could be just what your body needs to fight off harmful germs, so your health and wellness are restored. To learn more about infusion antibiotic therapy at DOCCS or to schedule a consultation visit, book an appointment online today.

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