Antibiotics are medications used to treat or prevent bacterial infections. The drugs are usually prescribed to babies to treat bacterial infections such as middle ear infection, sinusitis, bronchitis and pneumonia. Antibiotics can cause unpleasant side effects in babies, according to Children's Hospital Colorado. If your baby develops stomach cramps during antibiotic therapy, consult your doctor.
Stomach cramps or abdominal cramps are unpleasant stomach sensations that can occur when your baby's intestines are irritated by antibiotic prescriptions. Antibiotics destroy beneficial microflora found in your baby's intestines. These beneficial microorganisms suppress the overgrowth of bacteria-causing disease. When your baby's intestines lack beneficial bacteria, he may develop antibiotic-associated diarrhea, which is characterized by abdominal pain, stomach cramping and watery diarrhea, according to Kidsgrowth.com. Consult your pediatrician if you notice these symptoms in your baby.
Your pediatrician will most likely advise you to stop giving your child the antibiotic that is causing the stomach cramps. Once the symptoms subsides, the doctor may switch your baby to another antibiotic. The pediatrician may also recommend probiotics supplements for your baby, according to Children's Hospital Boston. Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that are similar to the beneficial macroflora found in your baby's gut. These probiotics can help restore the normal intestinal bacteria balance, which can help alleviate stomach cramps and other intestinal symptoms.
You can protect your baby from side effects of antibiotics by ensuring she receives the drugs only when the pediatrician determines that they are necessary. Avoid requesting antibiotic prescriptions every time your child has a sore throat or cough. Ensure that you give the baby the correct prescribed dose of antibiotics. Do not increase or reduce the dose without first consulting your pediatrician. Make sure your baby finishes the prescribed dose of medication even if she is feeling better.
Probiotics are usually safe for most healthy babies. However, use of probiotics in babies less than 1 month old is not recommended, according to Children's Hospital Boston. Probiotics should not be used in babies with compromised immune systems because they may develop infections which are difficult to treat. Probiotics for babies can be found in food or supplements. Purchase probiotics manufactured specifically for children. Consult your pediatrician about the best probiotics to give your baby.