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Antibiotics are effective against a broad range of bacterial and fungal infections and are good to be taken under medical supervision. Something to consider is that antibiotics act over time. The recommended course should be completed even if the symptoms disappear. It is imperative to take the antibiotics exactly as prescribed since some antibiotics should be taken only on an empty stomach, others with food. (This has to do with the absorption of the particular antibiotic). Thus, keep in mind the good and bad of antibiotics before you use them.

  • Antibiotics do not prevent or cure viral illnesses such as colds or flu.
  • Besides ‘bad’ bacteria, they can kill useful bacteria, such as, those in the intestines that aid digestion; diarrhea results often. It is for this reason that a patient should also take Probiflora when taking antibiotics
  • Some people are allergic to antibiotics and if taken some bad results would occur.
  • Overuse of antibiotics may lead to the development of resistant strains of microorganisms.
  • For example, a 2003 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that doctors prescribed antibiotics for more than 60% of adults with upper respiratory tract infections, which are usually caused by viruses.
  • And a 2010 study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology found that doctors sometimes kept patients on antibiotics even after tests showed they had viral infections.

 Farmers using powerful antibiotic ‘of last resort’ on healthy chickens to boost weight

Thousands of tonnes of colistin* are shipped worldwide to be used without controls, investigation finds. A powerful antibiotic described as a drug of last resort is being used on an industrial scale by farmers around the world, often on healthy animals and in a practice that poses risks to human health. But the antibiotic is also used as a last line of defence in humans whose infections are not responding to other drugs (Batchelor: 2018)

Overuse of antibiotics in animals and humans

Public health experts have warned about a new colistin-resistant gene that could leave some infections untreatable.

A report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found 2,800 tonnes of the drug was shipped to developing countries including India, Vietnam, Russia, Mexico, Colombia and Bolivia for use on animals in 2016. Research published in the journal Science showed two antibiotics – tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones, which can treat illnesses including cholera and malaria – were the most commonly used drugs in animal feed. Overuse of antibiotics in animals and humans is contributing to the rising threat of antibiotic resistance, with some types of bacteria already have developed resistance to most or all the available treatmentss.

Antibiotic-resistant infections spread

Antibiotics are important medications. It would be difficult to overstate the benefits of penicillin and other antibiotics in treating bacterial infections, preventing the spread of disease and reducing serious complications of disease.

But some medications that used to be standard treatments for bacterial infections are now less effective or don’t work at all. When an antibiotic no longer affects a certain strain of bacteria, those bacteria are said to be antibiotic resistant. Antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing health problems.

The overuse and misuse of antibiotics are key factors contributing to antibiotic resistance. The general public, doctors and hospitals all play a role in ensuring proper use of the medications and minimising the development of antibiotic resistance (Mayo Clinic – Antibiotics).

 

The intention with this blog was not to underscore the value of the use of antibiotics or the important benefits thereof, but rather to emphasise the correct prescription for the correct diagnosis and appropriate use thereof.