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Ways To Prevent Antibiotic Abuse

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Antibiotic resistance is currently the new epidemic in India. It is one of the major growing concerns of the country because of the increasing number of reckless use of antibiotics and self-medication methods being adopted by patients suffering from a mild illness. Due to the non-prescribed and incorrect dosage of medicine intake, the human body gets immune to medication meant to treat mild illnesses. Moreover, India’s poor sanitation, lose health systems for antibiotic resistance, inexpensive antibiotics and three out of five doctors prescribing antibiotics as a quick fix act as contributing factors.

Why should we be worried?


At present, as many as five people suffer from kidney failure annually caused by either the infection or heavy doses of antibiotics. Resistance among Indian children has reached alarming levels, with common drugs now failing to act on as many as 95% of pediatric patients. It is estimated that 2 million Indians will die by 2050 due to drug-resistance.

Superbugs are strains of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that are resistant to most of the antibiotics and other medications commonly used to treat the infections they cause.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.

What do you need to know about antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria or microbe manages to resist the effects of an antibiotic. The microbes have such mutations in their cell synthesis, that they are tougher to the antibiotic effect. And what’s more, they pass on this helpful mutation to their upcoming generations. Mind you, all this is happening inside a patient’s body. So now we have the same microbes which have grown more powerful against the antibiotic and have also grown in numbers. The problem comes to society when these stronger, resistant microbes find their way into a new patient. This new patient cannot be treated with regular medicines and his infection stays in the body for too long, damaging his/her health.

Currently, almost all types of bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotic treatment; these resistant bacteria multiply unhindered and lead to infections that are increasingly difficult to treat. Such antibiotic resistance is posing great danger to kids and adults who suffer from common ailments, which otherwise are easily treatable.   So how do we identify the ways to prevent it? By understanding the basics of the problem.

The main cause of antibiotic resistance is antibiotic use. When we use antibiotics, some bacteria die but resistant bacteria can survive and even multiply. The overuse of antibiotics makes resistant bacteria more common. The more we use antibiotics, the more chances bacteria have to become resistant to them.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Why does antibiotic resistance occur?

Missing a dose of an antibiotic is the most important cause of antibiotic resistance. When you miss a dose or a couple of doses, the body is without enough medicine to combat the bacteria. This is the time when the microbes pull out defences and start mutations or genetic changes that are favourable for it.

The issue is alarming all over the world and not many know about the ways to prevent antibiotic resistance. Tuberculosis mycobacterium is not only drug-resistant but is now multidrug-resistant and that is how it is very difficult to eradicate tuberculosis from developing countries like India.

It is understood that antibiotics will lose their ability to fight against bacteria over time, due to bacteria adapting to the evolving antibiotics and nature selects only the strongest to survive.

Superbugs can often be resistant bacteria that can cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections and skin infections, careful selection of antibiotics is warranted.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.

Also Read: Natural Antibiotics: A Guide to Nature’s Healing Power

Ways to prevent antibiotic resistance:

  • Avoid using antibiotics for illnesses caused by viruses like cold and flu. Take antibiotics that are prescribed by a licensed doctor or a certified healthcare professional only. Ask if you really need them!
  • Do not take antibiotics that are prescribed for someone else. They may not affect your condition.
  • Do not buy antibiotics over the counter from your previous experience or otherwise.
  • Always complete the full course of the antibiotic even if you are feeling better. Stopping the antibiotics will cause resistance to set in early and will promote the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • Do not pressurize your doctor into prescribing an antibiotic for you.

Also Read: Can You Drink While Taking Amoxicillin? Uncovering the Facts

For more details on antibiotic resistance, read our blog on PM Narendra Modi’s thoughts on the topic here.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

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