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Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices


Antibiotic Side Effects


ANTIBIOTIC SIDE EFFECTS

SERIOUS

Parents should take their child to an emergency room if any of the following develop after starting an antibiotic: 

  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing (not just nasal congestion)
  • Difficulty swallowing due to tight throat
  • Excessive drooling with difficulty swallowing
  • Any other signs that you suspect may be a severe allergic reaction
  • Swollen joints

 

Call your doctor during regular office hours if any of the following occur after starting an antibiotic

DIARRHEA

Antibiotics kill the bacteria causing the infection and they also kill "friendly" bacteria that normally live in your child's mouth, throat, and intestines. These "good" bacteria help with digestion and when they are eliminated, loose stools develop. Therefore, diarrhea is common and parents should expect this to happen with many antibiotics. 

Click for more information about antibiotic associated diarrhea

BODY RASH

Rashes occur while taking antibiotics for two reasons: (1) the child is allergic to the antibiotic and, much more likely, (2) the illness, for which the antibiotic is being used, is producing the rash. If the child is allergic to the antibiotic, the rash can appear as hives (raised, red or white welts that come and go and usually cause itching) or as a pinpoint red or white bumps that may or may not cause itching. It is often difficult, if not impossible, to determine if your child's rash is caused from an allergy to the antibiotics or is associated with the illness. It is therefore recommended that the antibiotic be stopped until the child's physician can see the rash and determine if it is antibiotic related or illness related. 

Benadryl may be given on your doctor's recommendation to relieve the itching. Click for a dose chart. 


DIAPER RASH

Diaper rash often appears when a child is on antibiotics from one of two causes: a contact diaper rash because the loose stools from the antibiotic irritate the baby's diaper area, and a yeast diaper rash, because the antibiotic has destroyed good bacteria on the skin and in the intestines, producing an overgrowth of the yeast fungus. 

Click for more information about treating diaper rashes


ORAL THRUSH

Thrush is an overgrowth of the yeast germ, Candida , producing white patches inside the mouth. This occurs because the antibiotics kill the normal mouth flora and allow yeast to overgrow inside the mouth.

Thrush can be distinguished from the white coating of milk left behind after feedings by gentle washing of the white patches. Thrush is firmly stuck against the mouth, and if you manage to get some off, the surface left behind is swollen and red. If the white patches are easily removed, then it probably is not thrush.

Click for more information about treating thrush


posted 01-21-04 on kidsgrowth.com

 

As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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