Intravenous antibiotics are given directly into the bloodstream.
Intravenous (IV) antibiotics are antibiotic medications designed to be administered directly into the bloodstream. They are an alternative to oral antibiotics given by mouth and topical antibiotics applied directly to the site of infection. Pharmaceutical companies that manufacture antibiotics often offer a variety of products for intravenous use. These medications are available by prescription only and must be administered under the supervision of a physician.
The hand is the most common placement of an IV line.
Antibiotics are a class of drugs designed to act against bacteria. They can actively kill bacteria to stop an infection, or they can interfere with bacterial reproduction, making it harder for an infection to spread. As generations of organisms die, the infection is gradually brought under control. Some drugs are broad spectrum and work against many different organisms, while others target specific bacteria and are not suitable for generic use.
An IV drip bag can be used to dilute IV antibiotics to the correct dosage.
Giving antibiotics intravenously means the drugs act quickly, which can be critical in an emergency situation. When drugs are introduced directly into the bloodstream, they travel quickly to the site of infection and immediately begin to work. On the other hand, drugs taken by mouth must be absorbed by the intestine before they start to attack an infection. For people with severe infections, intravenous antibiotics can be used because they take effect quickly.
Due to the risk of adverse side effects, intravenous antibiotics are usually prescribed only for severe infections.
People are usually given intravenous antibiotics through an IV catheter connected to an infusion pump. Medications can be injected directly into the catheter or into a sterile saline bag for slow infusion into the bloodstream. The method of administration depends on the patient and the drug in question. Some medications need to be given slowly because of concerns about side effects.
An IV solution bag can be used to dispense medication to a patient over a period of time.
Before prescribing intravenous antibiotics, the doctor performs an examination to confirm that the problem is an infection and samples may be taken to find out which bacterial organisms are present. This information is used to select an appropriate drug for the patient. Dosage is calculated based on the patient’s weight to ensure the patient receives enough medication to fight the infection without being given too much.
Although intravenous antibiotics are often given in a hospital setting for patients with infections that require skilled nursing care, they can also be given at home or in a long-term care facility. For home administration, patients must be trained to give intravenous injections or administer an intravenous line. Following the instructions, they can prepare the necessary medication and administer it. A home care nurse may also take care of administering medication for these patients.