Last Updated: 14th December, 2020
Antibiotic awareness intends on making people aware of antibiotic resistance globally and inspiring everyone (health care providers along with buyers) to inhibit and spread far wider resistance to antibiotics.
For almost every disease, antibiotics are our favorite drugs.
Q: Do you have a fever?
A: Just take an antibiotic.
Q: Have you had a flu shot?
A: Okay, let’s have an antibiotic.
Q: Have chills?
A: Have an antibiotic.
Q: Has an upset stomach?
A: Simply take an antibiotic.
Most often than not, we do not go to a doctor, but use an antibiotic to fight an infection. Whether it’s a long-term antibiotic prescribed for common infections or sharing one given to your family member, but that’s not right because antibiotics ONLY cure bacterial infections. And for a reason, your doctor prescribes antibiotics (And not just for any disease you would perhaps think about!)
So let’s get all your facts about antibiotics right!
What Is An Antibiotic?
Antibiotics, as the name suggests are medicines used to prevent the growth of bacteria or kill bacteria. They help to treat an infection by making it difficult for disease-causing bacteria to grow and proliferate.
The action mechanism differs between antibiotics to antibiotics, but most of the job is done by:
- Weakening the cell wall of bacteria and bursting its contents, thereby killing it.
- Inhibiting the bacterial growth, multiplication and spread.
What Are The Main Types Of Antibiotics?
Antibiotics can be categorized as:-
Antibiotics of wide range operate on a wide spectrum of bacteria. An antibiotic in this category can be used to treat several bacterial infections such as in an infection of the ear, infection of the sinus and infection of the throat.
Antibiotics of narrow spectrum function on particular kinds of bacteria. An antibiotic in this category might only be used to treat a single infection like an infection of the throat.
What Can Be Treated With Antibiotics?
Antibiotics might be used to treat bacteria-infected infections. Some of the common bacterial infections are:
- Dental infections
- Sinus infection
- Ear infections
- Strep throat
- Skin infections
- Urinary tract Infections (UTIs)
- Kidney infections
- Bacterial pneumonia
- A whooping cough
Antibiotics don’t always function against diseases such as viruses or fungi:-
- Common cold
- The flu
- A cough
- A sore throat
- Stomach flu
What Is Antibiotic Resistance?
Antibiotic resistance develops when medicines used to treat an infection fail in doing so, as per the World Health Organization. That’s because, in response to the use of these medicines, the bacteria modify, making them resistant to the antibiotics over time.
Hence, it becomes difficult to treat infections caused by these bacteria. So, as most people may think, it is bacteria (but not humans or, animals) that become antibiotic-resistant.
Is Antibiotic Resistance A Problem?
One of the greatest threats to global health is antibiotic resistance. It can affect everyone irrespective of the age and region. The misuse and overuse of antibiotics are one of the major reasons for a sudden increase in the number of cases of antibiotic resistance.
Several diseases like gonorrhea pneumonia, salmonellosis, tuberculosis, and gonorrhea are becoming increasingly harder to treat as antibiotics were used to treat them are becoming less effective. As a consequence, it becomes hard and costly to treat the bacteria with antibiotic resistance, frequently increasing the probability of disability and death.
In addition, antibiotic resistance also extends to longer stays in the hospital and additional medical expenses for treating an infection.
How To Prevent Antibiotic Resistance?
Here are some of the steps that must be taken by each person to decrease the effect of antibiotic resistance and restrict resistance spread.
- Do not share antibiotics with other recommended antibiotics.
- Do not ask for antibiotics at your doctor’s clinic.
- Do not discontinue antibiotics without the doctor’s recommendation.
- Do not grab antibiotics for infections with viruses.
- Never store antibiotics for use in the future.
- Do not skip doses of antibiotics.
- If you feel better, don’t stop taking antibiotics.
- Do not take antibiotics with fruit juices, tea, coffee or any other drinks.
- Do not take antibiotics with birth control pills.
Tips To Follow When On Antibiotics
If you are taking antibiotics (as prescribed by your doctor), here is what you should do.
- Include probiotics (or curd) in meals.
- Only if prescribed, take antibiotics.
- Discard any leftover medicine.
- Eat light, easy-to-digest and non-spicy/oily/salty food.
- By drinking lots of fluids, remain hydrated.
- Religiously and always complete the prescribed antibiotic course.
- If you are taking any other medications, inform your physician.
- Discuss about the side-effects of antibiotics and ways to deal it, with your doctor.
Never take some of the antibiotics with certain foods and beverages. Consider taking others on an empty stomach, one hour or two hours before meals. To really be effective, read the instructions carefully. People are not supposed to drink alcohol when taking metronidazole. If taking tetracyclines, skip dairy products as these may interfere with the absorption of the medicine.