Over-the-Counter Drugs - Antibacterial drugs
Antibacterial drugs work by attacking the bacteria that are causing the infection. Antibacterial medicine was first used in 1935. These early drugs were called sulfa drugs. They were so effective against a wide range of bacterial infections that they were included in the first aid pouches the U.S. Army supplied to soldiers in World War II (1939–45). The descendants of these early antibacterial drugs are called sulfonamides.
OTC antibacterial drugs such as Neosporin are intended to treat minor cuts and scrapes, and they contain one or more of three different antibiotics designed to treat specific types of microorganisms. Combinations of antibiotics give a broader range of treatment. Some antibacterial drugs also contain local anesthetics to alleviate the pain that can accompany infections. Other antibacterial drugs include antiseptics to prevent or slow down bacteria growth in the infected area. Mineral oil or lanolin may also be found in these drugs to speed the medication's absorption.
To further promote the effectiveness of antibacterial drugs, a person should keep the infected area clean, cool, and dry, and drink plenty of water (topical medicines are poorly absorbed by the skin if it is dehydrated). Antibacterial drugs can cause allergic reactions such as rashes and fever. These problems can often be resolved by changing to a different drug. Like many OTC drugs, antibacterial medications should not be used for more than seven days.
Cortisone is an organic (naturally occurring) compound from the steroid family (a group of fat-soluble organic compounds). It is a hormone that originates in the adrenal cortex (part of the adrenal glands, which are located one above each kidney), and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It was first introduced in 1948 as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. It provides relief from rheumatic fever, some kidney diseases, certain skin conditions, and allergies.
Available in many OTC creams and ointments, such as Cortaid, cortisone can cause problems with sodium, potassium, and nitrogen imbalances within the body and can sometimes cause swelling.