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Antibiotic Resistance Is On The Rise!

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Recently it was discovered that 33% of the people who were diagnosed with some form of bacterial infection are resistant to antibiotics (the medicines used to kill bacteria). Doctors are reporting about new superbugs (bacteria immune to antibiotics) that are becoming a health scare.This has given rise to the need for the Antibiotic Resistance Week (18th-24th November 2019).  Wherein, healthcare experts actively try to educate the people on the causes and dangers of antibiotic resistance. Read on to know all about it.

What are the causes of antibiotic resistance?

Here are the primary causes of why bacteria are becoming resistant-
  • You are not completing the dose

When your doctor prescribes antibiotics for a particular duration, he/she calculates how long it would take to eliminate all the harmful bacteria causing the illness. Now, if you discontinue the medicines just because the symptoms have disappeared, some bacteria with the knowledge of how the antibiotic works, will be left behind in the body. Now they will evolve accordingly and become resistant to that particular antibiotic.subheading
  • Consuming antibiotics through food

It’s not just you who is given antibiotics. The livestock, animals or fish that humans consume are treated with antibiotics too. When you consume meat or eggs, these antibiotics will accumulate in your body and new versions of resistant bacteria are created.
  • Not many new antibiotics

Most of the antibiotics that you see today were invented more than 40 years ago. Since then newer strains of bacteria have come into existence, their population has spread and human resistance has weakened to render the old antibiotics useless.
  • Over-prescription of medicines

Many doctors prescribe antibiotics for minor illnesses, which gives bacteria more time and information they need to change their DNA to become more resistant.  

Dangers of antibiotic resistance

The real danger of antibiotic resistance lies in the fact that these medicines lose their power. Antibiotics are prescribed for a number of illnesses- from stomach infections to pneumonia, bronchitis and a number of ugly infections. They are used during and after surgeries. If antibiotics do not work, these illnesses can turn fatal.  Also Read: Benefits of Gargling Salt Water: A Research-Backed Oral Health Guide

What can we do about antibiotic resistance?

You can reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance with these measures-
  1. To start off, we need to ask our doctors whether we really need antibiotics as part of the treatment. If it’s a viral infection or something not related to a bacterial infection, then there are other medicines that will take care of the problem.
  2. Always complete the course of the medication.
  3. Never exceed the course of antibiotics prescribed.
  4. Do not self-diagnose. It is dangerous to pop antibiotics if they haven’t been prescribed by your doctor as they can empower dangerous bacteria. Moreover, it is crucial to be aware of the potential side effects associated with antibiotics and seek professional advice for proper usage.
  5. Do not take antibiotics that were prescribed for your friend or family member even if it’s for the same illness.
  6. Do not take the same antibiotics if the infection comes back again. Remember, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and appropriate antibiotic treatment. Self-diagnosis can lead to incorrect medication choices and contribute to antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic Resistance Week is a good time to become aware of the rising danger of bacteria becoming too powerful for antibiotics to kill. To stay healthy, ensure that you exercise caution when it comes to taking antibiotics.Also Read: Natural Antibiotics: A Guide to Nature’s Healing PowerDisclaimer: 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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