Are you misusing Antibiotics? Here's what you need to know about Antibiotic Resistance.

December 06, 2018

Did you know that Antibiotics do not work against viral infections like cold and flu and misuse of Antibiotics is leading to Antibiotic resistance throughout the world? Antibiotics are medicines prescribed by doctors to treat bacterial infections. Read this blog how to prevent Antibiotic resistance.

Did you know that Antibiotics do not work against viral infections like cold and flu and misuse of Antibiotics is leading to Antibiotic resistance throughout the world?
Antibiotics are medicines prescribed by doctors to treat bacterial infections. They are used for simple bacterial infections like a sore throat to complicated infections like pneumonia, sepsis etc. Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs when used appropriately.
Improper usage of antibiotics has led to alarmingly high levels of antibiotic resistance. India has become one of the largest hubs of antibiotic resistance with the identification of superbugs producing enzymes like New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase 1 (NDM-1).

  • So what is Antibiotic Resistance?
    Everytime an Antibiotic is misused, bacteria develop newer mechanisms to fight the Antibiotic, making it difficult to eradicate the infection completely. Infections caused by Drug-resistant tuberculosis, MRSA causing pneumonia, sepsis, food poisoning, urinary infections are becoming harder and impossible to treat as antibiotics are becoming less and less effective due to misuse.
    What has led to Antibiotic resistance?
  • Using antibiotics to treat viral infections.
  • Skipping or not completing your Antibiotic course. Patients tend to stop the course as soon as they feel slightly better.
  • Taking antibiotics without doctors advise.
  • Using incorrect antibiotics or sharing prescribed Antibiotics with others.
  • Unregulated usage of antibiotics in animals by veterinary doctors has also contributed largely to the development of antibiotic resistance.

    What happens when someone is affected by Antibiotic resistance?
    Antibiotic resistance can affect anyone, anywhere in the World. Infections are harder to treat in people who become Antibiotic resistant. This means:
  • Longer hospital stays
  • A higher cost of treatment
  • Increased morbidity and mortality
  • Increase in the number of people who get hospitalized.

With more and more bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics and hardly any new antibiotics being discovered in the last few years, it becomes the combined responsibility of the patients, doctors as well aspolicymakersto fight against antibiotic resistance.

Here's what you can you do as an individual to prevent Antibiotic resistance:

  • Complete your Antibiotic Course: Take the antibiotics for the duration advised by the doctor
  • Never Self-Prescribe: Avoid self-medicating for simple infections. Always consult a doctor.
  • Never consult a Pharmacist: Antibiotics should only be prescribed by practising medical professionals. Order Prescribed Medicines here
  • Never use old prescriptions: Do not take the left-over medications just because your doctor had prescribed the medications for similar complaints in the past.
  • Get a Flu Shot Instead:Take preventive vaccines for infections such as Flu, typhoid, pneumococcal etc as advised by your doctor.
    Must read about : Flu - Symptoms, Causes and Prevention tips
  • Prevent Infections: Wash your hands properly, cook food hygienically and follow universal precautions to prevent infections.

Not just patients, it is also the responsibility of the doctors and health care professionals to take responsibility to reduce antibiotic resistance:

  • Prescribe antibiotics only when they are required
  • Start with first-line antibiotics and then proceed to higher antibiotics
  • Getting culture and sensitivity testing done before advising antibiotics.
  • Avoid prescribing just because patients are insisting
  • Sterilize all the equipment at clinics and hospitals as per the defined standards
  • Educate the patients about antibiotics and the ill effects of indiscriminate use of antibiotics.

Article by Dr. Vighnesh Y, M.D (Internal Medicine)
Consultant Physician, CallHealth

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