What happens if you overuse Antibiotics?
In order to treat infections, antibiotics are cornerstone therapy. You or a loved one may have an infection that can be treated with an antibiotic, according to your medical team.…By Admin | 14 December 2022
In order to treat infections, antibiotics are cornerstone therapy. You or a loved one may have an infection that can be treated with an antibiotic, according to your medical team. One of the most commonly prescribed drugs are Antibiotics in medical practice. However, as per studies approximately 50% of all the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed nor as effective as hoped.
Not all infections should be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics may be beneficial in treating illnesses brought on by bacteria (germs), but they are ineffective in treating infections brought on by viruses or fungi. Antibiotics can have side effects like all medications, thus they should only be used when absolutely required. It may even be hazardous to take an antibiotic when you don’t need one. So, Antibiotics are considered the keystone of modern medicine, but their excessive use continues to generate unwanted side effects.
- When we overuse or inappropriately use antibiotics, they help teach good bacteria to go bad & gives bacteria a chance to adapt. When this occurs, the antibiotics effectiveness in treating the infection is reduced since the bacteria are “resistant” to them. One of the most significant factors that has contributed to the majority of the antibiotic resistance is the misuse of antibiotics.
- People get serious infections with resistant bacteria that are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics & leads to high mortality because of that infection.
- Antibiotics can have side effects including allergic reactions & may also interfere with other drugs you may be taking.
- Antibiotics can upset your sensitive gut flora that can cause possibly life-threatening diarrhoea by bacteria (germ) Clostridium difficile (C. diff).
- Almost one in five trips to the emergency room are brought on by antibiotic side effects.They are the most common cause of emergency department visits for children under 18 years of age.
- Antibiotics are helping drive up drugs and hospital costs of a patient’s bill.
How to fix the overuse of antibiotics?
In order to fix an event of antibiotic over-usage we advise you to contact a best hospital in Vadodara for medicine over usage who can promptly deal with the such condition.
Antibiotic resistance & economic burden are the main issues because of misuse and overuse of antibiotics. Following are some steps & measures by which we can control misuse & overuse of antibiotics
- Educating healthcare providers & common people about antibiotics.
- Use antibiotics only as directed by a licensed healthcare provider.
- If a medical professional advises you don’t need antibiotics, it’s always safe to follow the advice.
- Always heed the advice of your healthcare provider when using antibiotics.
- Never share or use leftover antibiotics.
- By regularly washing hands, preparing food hygienically, avoiding close contact with sick people, practicing safer sex, and keeping vaccinations up to date, infections can be prevented effectively.
- Treat only bacterial infections. Majority common colds are because of viral infection
- Seek advice and ask questions to your physician when you feel you got an infection!
- Never use another person’s prescription
- Should have antibiotics policy for infection control & treatment in each hospital
- All hospital must have to follow antibiotic stewardship program
- Improve surveillance of antibiotic-resistant infections.
- The ill effects of antibiotic misuse should be made more aware to the people.
- Disposal of quality medicines should be regulated appropriately.
How many days of antibiotics are too much?
More antibiotics being prescribed results in increased selective pressure, which fuels resistance. Thus, we must use fewer antibiotics in order to reduce resistance. It is difficult and potentially dangerous for providers not to prescribe antibiotics at all, but it should be always not to prescribe antibiotics for too long.
According to these researchers, the body’s community of beneficial bacteria suffers more collateral damage the longer antibiotics are used. This, in turn, gives resistant bacteria strains, which are always present in small amounts in the human body, room to thrive and share their defences with other pathogens, eventually giving rise to the superbug strains of bacteria.
Not surprisingly, more than two thirds of patients received antibiotic courses that exceeded necessary durations, Most of the excess was caused by overly long courses of oral step-down therapy and in addition to the parenteral therapy that had already been administered. Longer antibiotic treatment regimens did not increase patient survival, lower readmission rates, or reduce the number of emergency room visits.
Thus, longer was not better. Additionally, individuals who got longer courses experienced noticeably more negative side effects. In fact, for every extra day of antibiotic medication, the probability of a negative outcome rose alarmingly by 5%. Still, the optimal duration of antibiotic therapy is not fit for all…! Duration of antibiotic therapy generally individual based & as per underlying disease & infection source.
Routinely 5-7 days of antibiotic course for community acquired pneumonia is enough, no need to continue for 14-15 days. But still it’s a case to case based decision about duration of antibiotic therapy that will be decided by a primary qualified treating physician. Longer course of therapy may be required in some of diseases like ventilator associated pneumonia, chronic UTI with pyelonephritis, deep seated intra-abdominal infection, meningitis, osteomyelitis etc.
Some of the points to decide about duration of antibiotic therapy are as follows:
- Underlying disease recovery & general condition of patient
- Site of infection
- Whether the source of infection controlled or not
- Documented causative organism of infection
- Underlying Risk factors (age, pre-existing dis., immuno-compromised status. Etc.)
- Choice of initial Empirical antibiotic therapy
Do antibiotics weaken your immune system?
The immune system is the body’s defence mechanism that protects the body from invasive bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. While the white blood cells fight the infection, the T cells destroy the infected cells, and the B cells produce antigen-specific immunoglobulin. But, at times, the natural defence system of the body cannot fight the infection alone.
So Antibiotics are then administered in the body. These support the immune system to fight the infection, in two ways, they either kill the bacteria directly or prevent them from reproducing. But Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections like the common cold or flu.
Very rarely, antibiotic treatment will cause a drop in the blood count, including the numbers of white cells that fight infection. So antibiotics do not directly interfere with the immune system, unnecessary antibiotic usage can stop the immune system from working to its full potential. In fact, antibiotics can also compromise the immune system of the body.