The World Health Organization (WHO) created a stir across the world when it stated that the amount of antibiotics humans were using was creating a global threat towards public health overall.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 50 percent of the antibiotics that you are ever prescribed is absolutely unnecessary.
What Is An Antibiotic?
The first antibiotic that was ever discovered was Penicillin, which was discovered by accident and ended up saving countless people from death. Over the years, various antibiotics were discovered that helped save lives by treating previously incurable diseases. One of the main functions of antibiotics is to treat infections caused by bacteria, fungus as well as some types of parasites. Antibiotics stop the bacteria from reproducing, or kill them, increasing your chances of recovery.
While antibiotics are mainly taken in an oral form, they are also available in a topical form that you have to apply on the skin, or in an injectable form. In some cases, the use of antibiotics could lead to some side effects such as diarrhea, nausea and fungal infection.
When Do You Really Need Antibiotics?
In many cases, our bodies are able to produce the antibodies required to ward off regular health concerns, such as basic cold and cough. Also, a healthy and strong immune system can fight off against similar health conditions without the need of any antibiotics.
When your immune system is not healthy enough and the condition goes from bad to worse, your doctor will prescribe the use of antibiotics.
It is true that antibiotics do help treat a lot of health issues and also save countless lives, which means they are definitely useful. But the problem happens when people start to misuse them.
Over the years, more and more people have been using antibiotics at the slightest hint of a cold or similar health concern. Ironically, it ends up reducing your body’s natural ability to fight and gradually the antibiotics also fail to have the desired impact.
According to the medical community, using antibiotics extensively has now led to the rise of the superbugs. These are bacteria that have become immune to most of the antibiotics that the medical world has given us, and as a result there are more and more cases of bacterial resistance.
Did you know that most of the infections that you get are viral in nature, and taking an antibiotic will not really help?
How To Reduce Antibiotic Use
In order to make sure that you do not become resistant towards useful antibiotics when required, try the following steps:
- Wait for your regular cold and cough to get better on its own instead of taking antibiotics right from the start. For instance, if you have a runny nose, sore throat or slight fever, check with your doctor if itäó»s a viral infection and what alternate methods can be used to treat it.
- Once your doctor puts you on antibiotics, make sure to complete the entire course of medication even if you feel better after a few uses. This will ensure that you are absolutely fine and there is no relapse, else you will have to take the medication course all over again.
- Do not use leftover prescriptions as a self-help medication guide.