Antibiotics Overuse – Side Effects

Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed medications in modern medicine. The word antibiotic is composed of two words, anti means ‘against’ and bios means ‘life’. Antibiotics are also called antibacterial, and they are drugs specifically used to treat infections caused by bacteria; it is essential to understand that antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics are ineffective against viral infections such as the common cold and fungal infections such as ringworm. Bacteria are very tiny organisms that can at times cause illness to both humans and animals. Antibiotics treat the diseases by killing or destroying bacteria. The first antibiotic in the history of medicine was penicillin, which was discovered out of the blue from a mold culture. In our modern world today, over hundreds of different antibiotics are available to cure from minor to life- threatening infections, such as tuberculosis, salmonella, syphilis and some forms of meningitis. Penicillin-related antibiotics are ampicillin, amoxicillin and benzyl penicillin, which are extensively used nowadays to treat a variety of infections; these antibiotics or antibacterial have been around for a long time.

When To Take Them?

Antibiotics do not work for every illness, as it meant to cure the infections caused by bacteria, so one must consider this fact while taking any antibiotic. Doctor’s prescription is very important for taking antibiotics because a doctor can tell well that if a patient has viral infection or bacterial infection. Antibiotics should not be taken for viral illnesses, such as colds or the flu, because by taking antibiotics in viral infections one makes the illness worse as it enables the bacteria to resist the antibiotics. Take the antibiotics on Doctor’s professional prescription so that one get benefit from it, the dosage of the antibiotics should be taken properly and regularly because once patient miss any dose then it can result in the resistance from bacteria, which will make the whole treatment ineffective.

Some of the symptoms of onset of any bacterial infection are red throat and tonsils, difficulty in swallowing, fever ranges above 101 degrees, swollen and tender lymph nodes in the neck, headache, shivers and shaking with cold sweats, often nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain in children.

Overuse Causes Resistance And Toxicity

The overuse of antibiotics causes “Antibiotic resistance” and “bacterial resistance”. Frequently, antibiotics destroy bacteria or simply stop them from growing; however, some of the bacteria have become resistant to some types of antibiotics. This means that the antibiotics no longer work against such bacteria. Bacteria become resistant to antibiotics more quickly when antibiotics are used too often or are not used properly, for example, if a person does not take the full course of a specific antibiotic prescribed by any doctor, then the bacteria in his body will develop a resistance against that specific antibiotic, such bacteria can, then be treated with some other antibiotic, but some types of bacteria are resistant to all the antibiotics and unable to get treated. Moreover, the overuse of antibiotics can also cause toxicity in the body at different cellular, tissue or organ levels. For example, Quinolones are a class of antibiotics that are very toxic for tendons, cartilages, nervous system and various other organs. The overuse results in the accumulation of antibiotics in lysosomes which may cause metabolic alterations that can lead to cell toxicity.

How To Avoid The Side Effects

To avoid the side effects of antibiotic’s overuse, one must avoid the overuse of antibiotics at first place. To control the antibiotic overuse one must not depend on the doctor, regulate the antibiotic use by yourself. Following is some of the suggestions to avoid the resistance of antibiotics:

· Don’t always follow the urge of asking your doctor for antibiotics whenever you have flu, cough or cold. Bacterial infections generally go away on their own within two weeks.

· While taking any antibiotic drug from doctor, always ask him if it is necessary in the present condition or not and also that you have really a bacterial infection or viral one.

· Always follow the doctor’s direction of the use of antibiotics.

· Always make sure to complete the full course of prescribed antibiotics, even if you feel recovered in the mid of the course because if you left taking it in the mid of the course then there is a possibility that the bacteria may get a chance to grow again and develop a resistance, and then you will be supposed to take stronger antibiotics to recover that second attack.

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