Our world is full of infinite microbes and the invention of antibiotics are boon to the living creatures. Or otherwise, half of the population would have been extinct by now. However, antibiotics should not be taken just like that for every infection just because it has the capacity to kill or neutral the microbes. Proper prescription under physician guidance is mandatory for taking antibiotics. You might wonder why! Well here comes the darker side of improper antibiotic usage which could cause more serious effects.
Probably, you are familiar with the word called ” Antibiotic resistance ”. But, unfortunately, you might not be fully aware of what exactly it could cause. Technically speaking, every bacteria has the capability to produce a biofilm. It is a protective structure against any medicine, thus they could survive with the newer form, potentially stronger though. These transformations are however very harmful because it might possess high virulence than the former.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE TAKING ANTIBIOTICS:
Thus when taking antibiotics, it is important to consider three main factors.
Importance of self-defence mechanism:
Firstly, it is prime significant to let your own immune system to defend against any foreign pathogens. Taking medicine for every milder infection would eventually lead to degradation of the body’s natural fighting ability. Thereby you are ignorantly making yourself prone for heavier microbial attacks on the long term.
Choosing the right drug:
Secondly, antibiotics are like an ocean, huge and enormous. Some of them are specific in action to a particular organism. Whereas, some have a wider range which could kill different bacteria in a single shot. You might think the latter would be better; however, I would say that’s not an ideal way of taking antibiotics. It is always safer to identify the specific cause and eliminate the targeted pathogen without altering or disturbing other flora. Our body requires certain bacteria for better digestion. When broad-spectrum antibiotics are taken, these normal floras are more likely to disturb or kill themselves. This hinders the normal mechanism. Thus, in general, broad-spectrum is advisable when there is a severe infection and in an urge to control further spreading of toxic agents, and when it takes some days to identify the causative organisms.
Final and most importantly, it is crucial to complete the full course of medicine. You certainly need to complete the medicine as per prescription. No matter even if you feel better or less infected after taking antibiotics for a day or two. As said earlier, bacteria have the tendency to produce biofilm and adapt to a newer form. In spite of the reduction in virulence after a few dosages of medicine, bacteria could able to coat themselves with a layer of biofilm, and surprisingly they have memory cells which have the potency to become resistant for the same drug or at-least to the same dosage in future.
if you take an antibiotic for flu; however you stopped taking it within two days just because your symptoms have subsided is typically a wrong idea and dangerous too. By doing so, your body might not be a responsive one for the same drug when you have been attacked by flu next time. Or at-least, you required a higher dose as a counterpart to fight against the infection.
As a result, we are in a position to invent a newer set of drugs with different combinations to counteract their resistance. And sometimes, these new inventions possess greater side effects. However, bacteria are smart enough to protect themselves from our hard-working researches.
One best way to overcome this is to take the full course of antibiotic that has been suggested by your doctor. This will kill the virulent pathogen at the course of time. There would not be any memory cells of biofilm to carry forward during the second attack.
Antibiotics have become a common term nowadays; nevertheless, judicial handling is pretty important.