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風邪で体調が悪い男
風邪で体調が悪い男

風邪をひいたときに抗生剤を飲む理由

風邪の男

風邪をひいて病院で診てもらうと、抗生剤を処方してもらう場合があります。抗生剤は細菌に効く薬ですが、ウイルス性の風邪の場合には効き目がないという話があります。しかし、抗生剤を飲んでいるとなぜか風邪が治っていきます。これはなぜなのでしょうか。

風邪をひいたときに抗生剤を飲む理由を紹介します。同じ疑問を持っていた人は参考にしてみてください。

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風邪の原因

風邪の女性

風邪は、細菌性のものもありますがウイルス感染による症状が多いです。ウイルスが鼻腔や咽頭などの上気道に感染して炎症を起こし、咳や咽頭痛、鼻汁、鼻づまりなどの局部症状があったり、発熱や倦怠感、頭痛などの全身症状が現れたりします。

抗生剤について

抗生剤は、微生物や細菌の増殖を防ぐために用いられる物質です。対象となる細菌の種類に応じて、いくつかの系統に分類されます。細菌が増殖するのに必要な代謝経路に作用することにより、細菌にのみ選択的に毒性を示します。

そのため、ウイルスには効き目がありません。

風邪に抗生剤が使われる理由

咽頭痛や咳、鼻水などが主症状の風邪のだいたい90%はウイルス感染が原因であり、残りの10%は細菌などが原因となって起こります。通常の風邪の症状はウイルス感染によるものが多いため、抗生剤は不要と思われます。

では、なぜ抗生剤が風邪に効くのでしょうか。症状の経過や流行の状況から、特定の細菌感染を強く疑えば、早期に治療されます。しかし、風邪の初期症状の情報のみで、その風邪がウイルス感染のものか、細菌感染のものか、別の原因によるものかを厳密に診断することはできません。

ただし、風邪で弱った体にさらに別の細菌に感染するという二次感染の可能性があります。そのため、その二次感染を防ぐという意味で処方されています。

また、マクロライド系の抗生剤の中には、気道粘膜からインターロイキンを出させて、免疫を増強させる働きをもつものがあります。つまり、気道を強くする作用があるということなのです。免疫力が低下して風邪をひくということが多いですから、免疫力を増強させることは、風邪治療を早めるのに大切なことです。

抗生剤服用の注意点

当然のことですが、抗生剤は医薬品ですから医師や薬剤師の指導の元で、適切に服用を行います。

そのため、使用している抗生剤を服用していても効果が得られないからと言って、さらに過剰な量の抗生剤を服用したり、別の抗生剤を重ねて服用したりすることは避けなければなりません。

また、抗生剤を使用することで、体内の常在細菌にも影響を与えます。ですから、長期間多種の使用も避けます。

抗生剤は、必要以上に使いすぎると薬が効かなくなる「耐性菌」が出来てしまったり、細菌が死滅する代わりにまた別の耐性菌が発生し、菌が入れ換わるという「菌交替」という状態が起こったりする可能性があります。

牛乳などカルシウムが多く含まれる食品と一緒に服用すると効果が低くなるものもあります。食事の代わりに簡単な乳製品を摂取するのは避けるようにしましょう。多くの場合、薬とアルコールと一緒に服用するのも厳禁と言われていますが、抗生剤も同じです。併用してはならない食品がないかどうか、服用前に薬剤師にきちんと確認しておきましょう。

他に薬を服用している場合には、必ず医師や薬剤師に伝えるようにしましょう。薬によっては相性の悪い種類もあります。

抗生物質の副作用

どんな薬でもアレルギーによる副作用はつきものですが、抗生剤にも注意すべき副作用があります。

例えば、じんましんやひどい発疹が起きた時や、呼吸に違和感がある時には、薬アレルギーの可能性がありますので病院で診てもらう必要があります。また、下痢も起こりやすい副作用の1つです。これは腸内細菌のバランスが崩れて起こるものです。これを予防するために、整腸剤を一緒に処方されることがあります。

さらに、抗生剤は本来、悪玉菌が増えている時に使用されますが、抗生剤は悪玉菌だけでなく、善玉菌にも影響があります。そのため、悪玉菌が悪さをしていない時に使用すると、善玉菌と悪玉菌のバランスが崩れてしまい、結果的に悪玉菌が悪さを始めることがあります。また、このような時に増えるのは抗生剤の効かない菌である耐性菌ですから、治療が難しくなる可能性があります。

まとめ:二次感染を防ぐために、抗生剤が処方されている

抗生剤は細菌に効き目のある薬であり、ウイルス性の風邪には効果がありません。しかも、風邪の原因の9割はウイルス性なので、抗生剤は一見無駄なように感じます。

しかし、風邪で弱った身体は細菌による二次感染を起こしやすい状態ですから、それを防ぐために抗生剤が処方されています。医師の指示にしたがって、用法・用量を守って服用するようにしましょう。

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