Unprescribed Antibiotics – Why It can be Bad for You

(photo from http://www.lowdensitylifestyle.com/the-dangers-of-antibiotic-overuse/)

How may times  in your lifetime have you gone to your doctor  and have been  given  a prescription for antibiotics? Didn’t  you feel any hint of regret after  seeing your doctor when you knew all along that  you’d be advised to take antibiotics?

Don’t be, because  antibiotics are drugs that you shouldn’t take just sitting down. Antibiotics are easily accessible  but like any other drugs, taking  antibiotics should be taken in strict compliance.

What are antibiotics? Antibiotics are a class of drugs that treat bacterial infections by stopping the growth of bacteria or terminating  the bacteria directly.  Antibiotics work in two different ways either by killing the bacteria or blocking its function. They only attack the bacterial population present in the body and causing the disease, they do not affect the cell of the body.  When you feel like you’re coming down with an infection, don’t automatically reach for antibiotics. Bacteria  causes  the infection but  not all infections are caused  by  bacteria. Here are  some common conditions you might think you need  antibiotics but  most of the time don’t:

  • Colds and flu are  caused by viruses. and they are be cured with antibiotics.
  • Cough or bronchitis are most of the time caused by  viruses,  but if you have a problem with your lungs or  if the  illness that lasts longer than usual,  your doctor  might  decide that  you take antibiotics. If the  illness lasts longer than usual, it  may be  caused or aggravated  by bacteria.
  • Most sore throats are caused by viruses and don’t need antibiotics but a strep throat (streptococcal sore throat- a type of infection that can stretch from the phayrnx, tonsils  and possibly the larynx)  is caused by bacteria. After a thorough excamination, your doctor  may then prescribe antibiotics.
  • Antibiotics can be used for  for some (but not all) ear infections, depending on the type. This is again, best determined by your doctor.
  • Antibiotics are often used to treat sinus infectionsbut a runny nose and yellow or green mucus do not necessarily mean you need an antibiotic.

    (photo from http://www.lowdensitylifestyle.com/the-dangers-of-antibiotic-overuse/)

Though antibiotics have been known to treat many types of infections, some antibacterials have been associated with a range of adverse of side effects which can range from mild to very serious depending on the antibiotics used, the microbial organisms targeted, and the individual patient. Adverse effects range from fever and nausea to major allergic reactions, including photodermatitis, anaphylaxia and diarrhea. Antibacterials may also lead to overgrowth of yeast species of Candida in the vulvo-vaginal area.Otherntibotics can also cause toxic psychosis. Additional side-effects can result from interaction with other drugs, such as elevated risk of tendon damage from administration of a quinolone antibiotic. recent studies also show evidence that indiscriminate use of antibiotics has been associated with chronic disease.

Why It’s Harmful to take antibitics when uprescribed  or longer  than usual

Taking antibiotics when unprescribed, is not only ineffective but also has a dangerous side effect: over time, this practice helps create bacteria that are difficult, if not completely impossible to treat.

Frequent and inappropriate use of antibiotics can cause to a phenomenon bacterial resistance or antibiotic resistance wherein a bacteria gets more difficult and longer to kill. Treating these resistant bacteria requires higher doses of medicine or stronger antibiotics. Among those that are becoming harder to treat are pneumococcal infections (which cause pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and meningitis), skin infections, and tuberculosis.

Antibiotic resistance, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has become one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.

As a rule, if your doctor  has  prescribed  antibiotics  as your medication, ensure that:

  • You take all the preoscribed medication for the recommended length of time. Some  may feel the need to stop taking the medicines because they start feeling better,  but that’s because antibiotics tend to work fairly rapidly. Never stop taking the medication because you feel better. Taking the full prescribed course of antibiotics ensures that the infection and its cause  are eradicated and won’t happen again.
  • Never assume that someone else’s prescription  may work for you. Your doctor prescribes antibiotics based on your individual medical history along with the type of bacteria that most likely caused the infection. Sharing any prescription medications is a dangerous practice and can even be deadly. Don’t save antibiotics to treat future infections.
  • Antibiotics generally work rapidly. Don’t stop taking the meds once your start feeling better  nor should you buy more medicine  or take it  longer  than prescribed.
  • Antibiotics can cause a number of side effects like Nausea, diarrhea, and other allergic reactions. Ask your doctor what kind of side effects you may experience with a particular antibiotic. Ensure that you tell your doctor if the side effects become severe or worrisome.
  • Ask your doctor how the medicine should be taken -whether or not you should take the medication with food and if you should change your habits during the course of treatment (for example, avoiding direct sunlight, not drinking alcohol or eating certain foods).

Medicines are suppose to make you get well and  should  not do otherwsie.

 

Web References:

http://www.medicinenet.com/antibiotics_101/

http://ask.metafilter.com/17817/antibiotic-dangers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibacterial

http://kidshealth.org/parent/h1n1_center/h1n1_center_treatment/antibiotic_overuse.html#