Use and Misuse of Antibiotics

Dr. Golam Nabi

12 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Antibiotics are life savers, but misuse has increased the number of drug-resistant genome. Antibiotics are important drugs. We are blessed with the Penicillin. Before the invention of penicillin millions of people died because of infections. Antibiotics has played miracle role in treating bacterial infections, preventing the spread of disease and minimizing serious complications of disease.

But there is a problem with antibiotic medications. Drugs that are used for treatments of bacterial infections, are now less effective or don’t work at all. When an antibiotic drug no longer has an effect on a certain strain of bacteria, these bacteria are said to be antibiotic resistant.

The overuse and misuse of antibiotics are key factors contributing to antibiotic resistance. The general public, doctors, hospitals, clinics, local pharmacies all can play a role in ensuring proper use of the drugs and minimizing the development of antibiotic resistance.

 What causes antibiotic resistance: A bacterium is resistant to a drug when it has changed in some way that either protects it from the action of the drug or neutralizes the drug. Any bacterium that survives an antibiotic treatment can then multiply and pass on its resistant properties. Also some bacteria can transfer their drug-resistant properties to other bacterium.

The fact that bacteria develop resistance to a drug is normal and expected. However the way drugs are being used helps the bacterium to develop quickly resistance to the particular drug.

 Over use of Antibiotics:   The overuse of antibiotics, especially taking antibiotics even when they are not the appropriate, promotes antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections but not viral infections. For example an antibiotic is an appropriate treatment for sore throat caused by bacterium streptococcus pyogen. It is not however the right treatment for most sore throat caused by viruses – which usually resolve spontaneously or with hot water gurgling.

If you take antibiotic when you actually have a viral infection, the antibiotic is still attacking bacteria in your body. This wrong treatment can then promote antibiotic-resistance in the harmless bacteria.

In spite of growing awareness of antibiotic resistance in recent years, its over use or misuse still occurs for a number of reasons.

Doctors may prescribe antibiotic before receiving the test results that can identify the actual cause of infection.

People want quick relief from symptoms, regardless of the cause of illness, may pressure doctors for antibiotic prescription.

In our country any body can buy antibiotic from pharmacy without prescription and treat themselves.

People may take antibiotics that are left over from a previous prescription.

Some over enthusiastic doctors prescribe multiple antibiotics for minor reason such as diarrhoea, common cold or cough.

Village quacks may use irrational antibiotics for no reason.

 Ways to prevent antibiotic resistance:

 Use antibiotics only as prescribed by your doctor.

Take an appropriate daily dosage and complete the entire course of treatment.

If for some reason you have leftover antibiotics, throw them away. Never take leftover antibiotic for a latter illness.

Never take antibiotics prescribed for your near and dear ones.

Don’t pressure your doctor to give you an antibiotic.

Don’t try to treat yourself by self medications.

It is always appreciable to consult your doctors for even minor problems like sore throat or cough. You might not need antibiotic, give your immune system a chance to fight with infection – you may cure without having antibiotic.

Last but not least, our lawmakers should enact strict laws to restrict the sale of medication without doctors’ prescriptions.