It Is Time To Go Anti Antibiotics

1262 words - 6 pages

Antibiotics are one of the greatest advancements in medical history; the saviour of those suffering from innumerable ailments; everything from the bubonic plague, to sexually transmitted infections. It is clear that these drugs are essential to treat many diseases…but the common cold? Antibiotic misuse causes an increased risk of potential health problems for patients, bacteria becoming resilient to these valuable medicines, and amplified health care costs.
Antibiotics may be the cure for many illnesses, but needless prescriptions do more harm than good for individuals. Taking antibiotics when not needed may make users feel worse. Many side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, thrush, allergic reactions to the drugs, and even life-threatening bowel inflammations can occur when using antibiotics (NPS Medicinewise, 2012, para. 2-4). When treating a severe infection or illness, these side effects are trivial compared to the cost-benefit ratio the antibiotics provide; however, when people misuse antibiotics by taking them for viral infections, they are putting themselves at risk for increased discomfort and potentially life-threatening side effects. Antibiotics also kill the healthy bacteria in your body. Dr. Martin Blaser states “evidence…suggests antibiotics may permanently change the beneficial bacteria that we’re carrying” (Conley, 2011, para. 3). Antibiotics cannot differentiate beneficial bacteria from harmful bacteria. By taking unwarranted antibiotics, individuals destroy healthful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. In turn, harmful bacteria gather, and it is hypothesized that many illnesses such as: Type 1 Diabetes, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease are on the rise as a result (Conley, 2011, para. 4). People may feel as though their symptoms are improving after the use of antibiotics, but this is essentially due to the amount of time that has passed. When uneducated patients demand antibiotics from their physicians, they typically leave with a prescription. After taking the medication, they may feel healthier, and falsely attribute this to the antibiotics (Zeltner, 2013, para. 38). Although viral infections improve on their own, what this does is persuade the user that bacteria has caused their illness. Next time this person falls ill, they will assume antibiotics are needed once more, and continue the cycle of abuse. Thus, taking antibiotics when not required leads to unwanted side effects, a decrease in healthy bacteria, and a misinformed public.

With antibiotic abuse becoming increasingly common, there has been a correlated increase of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is spreading rapidly throughout the world. Antibiotic resistance, initially a problem in hospitals, has now extended into communities where it causes severe infections, which are difficult to diagnose and treat (Alanis, 2005, p. 697). Originally, when antibiotics are used for the first time they treat the...

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