In medical terms, Antibiotic resistance occurs when an antibiotic has lost its ability to effectively control or kill bacterial growth; in other words, the bacteria are “resistant” and continue to multiply in the presence of therapeutic levels of an antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance is a growing and a deep rooted problem, both in the United States and across the world. The main driving factors behind antibiotic resistance are the overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Let’s get to know more about when antibiotics are and are not needed for common infections, and the potential harms of using antibiotics.In affluent nations, infections acquired in settings such as hospitals and nursing homes are a major source of illness and death. In addition, community-acquired infections are emerging, both as independent epidemics and as primary sources of resistance in hospitals.
As opposed to the notion about antibiotics, they can cause more harm than good. Antibiotics are the most common cause of emergency department visits for adverse drug events in children under 18 years of age.
Antibiotics cure bacterial infections, not viral infections such as:
- Colds or flu
- Most coughs and bronchitis
- Most sore throats
- Runny noses
Consumption of antibiotics increases your risk of getting an antibiotic-resistant infection later. Antibiotics kill the healthy bacteria in the gut, allowing more harmful bacteria, such as C. difficile, to grow in its place.
Although this infection is more commonly found in hospitals, it also occurs in clinics outside of the hospital. Antibiotics are the most common cause of emergency department visits for adverse drug events in children under 18 years of age.
It’s important to only take antibiotics for bacterial infections since they can put you or your child at risk for harmful side effects and antibiotic-resistant infections. Colds, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections are caused by viruses and Antibiotics do not help fight viruses. For common respiratory issues, antibiotics are not helpful.
Most people may not fully understand what exactly antibiotic resistance means and that can be a huge problem. People need to be more educated about the consequences and awareness needs to be created.
Antibiotic use promotes development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Every time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria are killed, but resistant germs may be left to grow and multiply. Repeated and improper uses of antibiotics are primary causes of the increase in drug-resistant bacteria.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy, two of the most common treatments for cancers, both cause heavy damage to patients’ immune systems, the body’s own defenses against infection.
How do bacteria become resistant to antibiotics?
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. The bacteria survive and continue to multiply causing more harm. Bacteria can do this through several mechanisms. Some bacteria develop the ability to neutralize the antibiotic before it can do harm, others can rapidly pump the antibiotic out, and still others can change the antibiotic attack site so it cannot affect the function of the bacteria.
Hope you found this post on antibiotics resistance useful!
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