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Can I Beat My Illness Without an Antibiotic?

When you get sick, it seems ideal to be able to take a pill to feel better. In the same way ibuprofen can ease a headache, some medication can target the source of your discomfort and help your body heal. 

That doesn’t mean you should always ask your doctor for a prescription, though. While some illnesses are best treated with an antibiotic, for example, others don’t respond to this kind of medication at all. 

At SmartClinic Urgent Care in West Covina and Santa Clarita, California, we treat a wide range of conditions and can help you find out if you or your child need an antibiotic to beat your illness. If you do, we prescribe it. If you don’t, we help you find alternative treatment so you can feel better as quickly as possible. 

Understanding different types of infections

Antibiotics only work for certain kinds of illnesses — they specifically treat bacterial infections. The right type of antibiotic can target and destroy the bacteria that’s causing an illness in your body. Antibiotics are extremely effective against urinary tract infections (UTIs) and strep throat, for example. 

If the infection is viral, though, the antibiotic won’t do anything for you. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) specifically recommend steering clear of antibiotic use for:

Ultimately, it comes down to whether a bacteria causes your or your child’s illness. If a bacterial infection is in play, the right antibiotic can absolutely help you overcome the illness. 

But if it’s a viral infection or something else, the antibiotic won’t help your issue and could even open you up to side effects like a rash or digestive issues. Plus, taking this medication when it’s not necessary heightens your risk for antibiotic resistance issues down the road. 

Finding the right treatment for your illness

In some cases, yes, an antibiotic is the best way to beat your illness as quickly as possible. But you want to be sure you’re only taking the antibiotic if your body will truly benefit from it.

That’s where we come in. Our SmartClinic Urgent Care team diagnoses your illness to apply the appropriate treatment, whether that’s an antibiotic or something else. 

And because we offer urgent care, you don’t necessarily need to make an appointment to figure out what’s going on. You can simply walk into either of our offices when you’re feeling ill to see our dedicated team and find out which treatment should work best for you. 

That said, if you’re tight on time, making an appointment in advance can shorten your wait in our office. For that, call the SmartClinic Urgent Care clinic nearest you today. 

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