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Surprising Ways Your Body Reacts When You Take Too Many Antibiotics

In the world of medicine, antibiotics hail as the most popular prescribed drugs to treat bacterial infections. While most of the time these antibiotics provide relief and comfort from the pain caused by our illnesses, its side effects can bring discomfort or severe harm to our body if we overdose it. The experts warn against overdosing on these prescribed antibiotic drugs to avoid the side effects it can bring to your body.

Digestive Issues

According to Kate Dzintars, PharmD, most patients who take antibiotics as part of their medication experienced gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, bloating, and diarrhea. This condition is known as antibiotic-associated diarrhea. If you’re experiencing this, Dzintars recommends drinking plenty of water and fluids as well as avoid eating foods high in fiber to help you cope during your medication.

Most people who take antibiotics suffer from digestive issues like diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting

If your diarrhea persists, Dzintars says it can lead to a more severe condition called Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea. It means the antibiotic drug you’re taking already kills the good bacteria residing in your gut, causing the harmful bacteria to overgrow, which may lead to dehydration. If you’re having watery diarrhea several times in a day, Dzintar recommends seeking medical attention right away.


Aside from digestive issues, Dzintars says patients also experienced headaches when taking medications. Unless you’re not deprived of coffee or sleep, then your headaches stem from the antibiotics you’re taking. While she says most headaches caused by the prescribed drug aren’t severe and only temporary, you can take OTC analgesic if you feel the pain becomes excruciating.

Sensitivity to Sunlight

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Since some antibiotics are photosensitizers and affect your skin against ultraviolet light, direct exposure to the sun’s light rays while taking antibiotic makes you vulnerable to blistering, peeling, and sunburn. If not, these drugs may also cause you to develop red, itchy rashes all over your skin.

The experts recommend you shouldn’t expose yourself to direct sunlight as much as possible. Even staying outside for 15 minutes makes your skin beet red especially if you’re taking fluoroquinolones, tetracyclines, and sulfa drugs. Dzintars recommends applying sunscreen and wearing protective clothing if you need to spend time outside.

Drug Interaction

Another thing to consider in taking antibiotics is how it interacts with other drugs you’re taking. For example, it may cure your bacterial infection, but it may affect how your other medication works. Dzintars says the medicines that often interact with antibiotics are the following:

  • antacids
  • anti-inflammatory drugs (like painkillers)
  • antihistamine
  • antifungal drugs
  • blood thinners
  • diabetes medications
  • diuretics
  • migraine medication
  • muscle relaxants
  • antidepressants.

Aside from that, hormonal birth control drugs also work less effectively if you’re taking rifampin antibiotics. While this drug is rarely prescribed, you should watch out for its symptoms. If you’re vomiting while taking an antibiotic and birth control pill, it means the latter drug isn’t working as it should be.

Antibiotics and Alcohol

The health experts also warn patients against drinking while on drug medication. According to Roshini Rajapaksa, MD at, those patients taking medicines like metronidazole, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, as well as tinidazole shouldn’t drink alcohol while on medication. Otherwise, it can trigger unpleasant reactions like headache, flushing, nausea, rapid heartbeats, and vomiting.

Taking other medicines might not trigger unpleasant reactions while having a drink or two, but Dr. Raj warns the liquor might enhance the drug’s side effects like dizziness and having an upset stomach. The experts recommend you watch out for other drugs containing alcohol like cold medicines as it can trigger the antibiotics’ side effects as well.

Fungal Infections

Some antibiotics may leave us vulnerable to fungal growth and yeast infections according to Dzintars. Often, fungal infections manifest in our mouth, skin, fingernails, as well as our toenails. It may also affect the pH balance on a woman’s intimate parts, making it prone to infections as well. You can take Monistat to counter the side effects. The experts also say the recent case of a patient having a black hairy tongue may also be a side effect of antibiotics.

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