Benefits and harms of antibiotics: explanations from doctors

Anna CherkasovaSociety
Antibiotics should be prescribed by a doctor

Every person in the world wants to be healthy and see their family members healthy. To achieve this, we try to eat right and lead an active lifestyle, replenish the body's vitamin supply and strengthen its defences. Unfortunately, however, we are surrounded by many viruses and bacteria that we are unable to resist. As a result, we get sick and turn to specialists for treatment. Antiviral or antibacterial drugs are the most common choice for fighting diseases.

Unfortunately, today some people are in no hurry to see a doctor and prescribe medicines on their own. This is especially dangerous when using antibacterial therapy. OBOZREVATEL has analysed the available information and explained what antibiotics are, what their benefits are, and how they can harm.

What is an antibiotic?

Antibiotics are potent drugs used to treat a certain list of diseases of bacterial origin. Every day we are surrounded by many microbes - bacteria. Most of them do not have a negative impact on humans, and sometimes they are even beneficial. However, some bacteria can cause serious infections. It is for their treatment that antibiotics are prescribed.

Different groups of antibacterial drugs have different effects on the body. They either kill bacteria or slow down their development.

Antibacterial drugs are available in the form of tablets, capsules, liquids, creams and ointments and require a prescription.

When is antibiotic therapy used?

Like any drug, an antibiotic must be prescribed by a doctor after examining and analysing the patient's complaints, as well as conducting laboratory tests. The biggest problem in modern medicine is the constant prescription of antibiotics for any disease. It should be understood that this practice is ineffective at best, and at worst, it can have numerous side effects.

Antibiotics are not prescribed for colds or viral infections, such as SARS and influenza, as they do not work on viruses. They are also not needed to treat a runny nose, sore throat, or fungal infections, as these ailments usually go away on their own or require other specific treatment.

What is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotics are extremely potent and have a good effect on bacteria that cause certain types of illness, such as sore throats, urinary tract infections, or bacterial pneumonia. Unauthorised or improper prescription of antibiotics does not improve the course of the disease, but leads to the development of resistance to the active ingredients contained in them.

The development of antibiotic resistance means that over time, it will be difficult to find treatment for some serious conditions because your body has become accustomed to the drug and does not respond properly.

Some studies suggest that 2 million people become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year, leading to 23,000 deaths.

How to take antibiotics correctly?

To ensure that treatment is effective and quick, do not self-medicate and consult a doctor in a timely manner.

When prescribing antibiotics, follow the dosage and duration specified in the prescription. Even if you feel better after a few days, you should not stop or change the treatment regimen.

Do not use the antibiotic at your own discretion or replace your doctor's prescription. The use of the wrong drug will not only fail to cure the disease, but will also lead to the formation of antibiotic resistance.

What are the side effects of taking antibiotics?

Unfortunately, when treating a specific bacterial disease, antibiotics can have a negative impact on the body's systems. Common side effects include nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, yeast infections, allergies, etc.

To reduce the symptoms, try taking the antibiotic with meals and consult your doctor for possible prescription of antihistamines or gastrointestinal medications.

If you have ever experienced a severe allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock while taking antibiotics, you should definitely inform your doctor and use products with a different active ingredient, as these conditions can be life-threatening.

As you can see, it is dangerous to joke about prescribing antibiotics. These drugs are very effective and, in some cases, necessary for quality treatment. However, the improper use or prescription of antibiotic therapy in recent years has led to the development of resistance to them and created numerous problems for doctors at a time when a quick decision should be made to save our lives.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL talked about the dangers of antibiotic resistance. The Ministry of Health noted that antibiotic resistance makes it difficult to fight bacteria and introduced a record of antimicrobial use.

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