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Why Taking Antibiotics Always Requires Extra Precaution

by Dr Prem Community Writer
woman Taking Antibiotics

One of the most significant discoveries in medicine is antibiotics. Its contribution to preventing infectious diseases has increased human life expectancy by a tenfold. But after more than a century of antibiotics, many challenges are facing the use of this medication to kill bacteria. We’ve since learned that there are harmful side-effects to the incorrect use of antibiotics. For example, apart from killing harmful bacteria, some antibiotics also kill good bacteria responsible for gut health. Most importantly, resistance to antibiotics produced “superbugs” that are more difficult to eliminate.

Antibiotics are still an essential remedy

Sore throatDespite the issues associated with antibiotics, there’s no doubt that it’s still essential in treating a wide range of conditions. Today, you can even buy antibiotics online as long as you have a prescription. Antibiotics are still the most effective cure for infections such as urinary tract and strep throat. But medical professionals are also wary of prescribing antibiotics with abandon. Some people think that merely taking antibiotics will get rid of the disease. They are probably unaware that too little, or too much of it can lead to an array of problems.

What’s the right way to take antibiotics?

The efficacy of antibiotics depends on the right dosage and prescription period. Unfortunately, some people think that it’s acceptable to drink the medication only until they stop experiencing any symptoms. The incorrect use of antibiotics is what gives rise to drug-resistant bacteria or superbugs. Another problem is self-medication, where some people buy antibiotics from non-reputable online sellers that won’t ask for a doctor’s prescription.

The problem faced with superbugs

bacteriaIn addition to incorrect antibiotic use, other factors contribute to the problem with superbugs. The DNA of bacteria can evolve and develop resistance to antibiotics. For example, while taking a specific type of antibiotic is enough to kill a majority of microbes and cure an individual of the disease, a small percentage of these microbes will survive and continue to mutate. What’s worse is that bacteria swap DNA from one species to another, which means that one microbe’s resistance will be passed on to another.

Fighting the “superbug” problem

One way to fight superbugs is to develop new antibiotics that the microbe isn’t resistant to. But the challenge here is that it takes time to discover and develop antibiotics. Even with a new discovery, research and clinical trials could take years to perfect. In the meantime, superbugs pop up faster, and the medical community can’t keep up. Perhaps another solution would be to slow down the rise of problematic superbugs to buy more time in discovering new antibiotics.

Final thoughts

Antibiotics were once considered as the most groundbreaking medical innovation. Despite the concerns associated with drug-resistant microbes, antibiotics are still some of the most widely-used – if not the only way to combat bacterial infection. As such, we should be more responsible in following the drug indication as medically prescribed. Also, it’s critical to avoid self-medicating and buying drugs from non-reputable online pharmacies that sell without asking or verifying a doctor’s script. 

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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