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Overuse of Antibiotics

Overuse of Antibiotics

Overuse of antibiotics can have serious aftermath on your health as well as on your pocket. Read this article to get more information on excessive use of antibiotics.
Megha Tiwari
Antibiotics are life-saving tools that have brought about a revolutionary change in the field of treating infectious diseases. They are prescribed to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and some other micro organisms that adversely affect the body, but their excess dose is dangerous and has very harmful effects. It was used for the first time in the 1940s and has been a great achievement in the field of medicines. But, unfortunately the overuse of antibiotics has cast a very adverse effect on the body, not only of the humans, but also on animals.

Repeated and excessive use of antibiotics is the major cause of making the bacteria resistant. The routine usage of antibiotics has made life worse for adults as well as for children. Almost 60% of the common infections are treated with the antibiotics which has made it ineffective. Apart from this the antibiotics overuse in animals is also affecting humans. The drug resistant bacteria are transmitted to the human body by consuming raw and uncooked meat and other poultry products of the animals that have been treated with antibiotics. Now let us take a look at the antibiotics side effects.

Effects of Excessive Use of Antibiotics

Overuse of antibiotics and resistance go hand in hand. Over prescribing antibiotics has serious side effects on the human body. It has resulted in the increased resistance of harmful bacteria and virus and thus increased their growth. When children take an overdose of antibiotics, it increases the chances of adverse reactions like diarrhea and stomach upset.

The intestinal infections caused by antibiotics is also the result of its overuse. The practice of taking antibiotics frequently and inappropriately, develop the bacteria that become a challenge to kill, thus making them more and more resistant to medicines. These resistant bacteria now need a stronger dose of the medicine to treat them. Antibiotic resistance has become a great issue for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The studies show that the bacteria that were once very responsive to the antibiotics have become resistant to it. So, to treat diseases like pneumonia, sinus infection, meningitis, ear infection, tuberculosis and skin infections have become very difficult.

Therefore, if the overuse continues for minor infections like flu, cold and other infections, then they are likely to become ineffective against bacteria that have to be treated. Also, the inappropriate intake of antibiotics also creates problems. For example, if you don't complete the full course of antibiotics it would not wipe out all the bacteria and the surviving bacteria may multiply or even start spreading. When the body becomes resistant to antibiotics, it leads to further complications and might also lead to death. When the first line of medicine fails or becomes ineffective then the patient will have to undergo the medications that are less conventional and can also be a bit expensive and might have some serious side effects. For example, the treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) is pretty expensive, has severe side effects and the course of medicines might take more than two years. Thus, it increases the expenses along with prolonged illness and serious aftermath.

To safeguard oneself from developing the risks of antibiotic resistance, one must understand when antibiotics are required, avoid taking antibiotics for viral illnesses, not take the antibiotics without prescription, consumption of antibiotics other than prescribed ones should also be avoided. You should take a healthy diet and above all maintain good health and hygiene. We know how antibiotics work and now, we have also understood that resisting them has become a serious problem and many infections round the globe are becoming ineffective to medicines just because of the overusage. So, one must be very careful while using antibiotics and thereby safeguard the health of your family and community.