It is deplorable to note that the number of people using antibiotics has enormously increased by nearly 35% at world level. The awareness of antibiotics has grown to such a degree that people have themselves started buying antibiotics across the counter and requesting the doctors to prescribe antibiotics even for cold, cough, fever, throat pain etc.
Whenever we get bacteria-infected disease in our body, these antibiotics are given to treat the condition and for curbing further infection. In particular, these antibiotics are required to be given if the immunity level reduces or if the bacterial infection increases. However, if antibiotics are continuously taken, the bacteria in our body will start resisting against the antibiotics, thereby nullifying the effect of antibiotics. This is called ‘antibiotic resistance’. It is further sad to note the research finding released by the famous magazine, ‘Wall Street’ in America that the death rate due to antibiotics resistance would be more than the death rate caused by cancer disease by the year 2050.
Another alarming data reveals that India holds the first rank in the use of more antibiotics at world level during the period of 15 years from 2000 to 2015. China and Pakistan follow India in this figure. As already seen, globally, there has been a steady increase of 35% of world population consuming antibiotics.
On the one hand, we have been using the antibiotics with the least discretion whatsoever. On the other hand, doctors have been constantly warning about the ill-effects of antibiotics. They opine that more antibiotics would not only affect the liver but also make the liver sluggish and inactive, in effect.
Dr.Arunachalam, general practitioner elaborated the clarifications for the queries that we raised before him regarding the use of antibiotics. He says that sometimes, the antibiotics that we take may not give us the desired result. Without understanding the implication, we may take a higher dosage or some other antibiotics by forgetting the original one. Over a period of time, as we keep on taking the higher dosage of antibiotics, the bacteria inside our body will get the resisting power to fight the antibiotics that we take. In the process, we will have to face still adverse consequences. Hence, it is imperative that we take the antibiotics as strictly as possible and as prescribed by the doctor. That alone would be safer and proper.
In particular, antibiotics are supposed to be prescribed by the doctor for a patient depending on his/her physical condition and the patient should never buy antibiotics over-the-counter as indiscreet consumption will certainly result in harmful effects. Similarly, when the doctor prescribes a particular antibiotic for a particular period of time like 5 days, the patient should not deviate from that. Some patients will feel slightly better on the third day and abruptly give up further dosage which is also equally harmful. Effect of medicine is akin to that of the effect of a kitchen knife. The use of a kitchen knife is thoroughly known only to the housewife and not to others. If others casually try it, it will hurt them. Likewise, the use and effect of antibiotics are known only to the doctors who will prescribe according to the condition of the patient. If it is used by lay people or unknowingly, it will be adverse only.
Certain specific ill-effects of too much of antibiotics are swelling of the liver and sometimes even damage of liver. Once the patient realises that his/her liver is reacting to the antibiotic tablets, it must be given up to save the liver.
Doubtless is that antibiotics are highly useful for treating many diseases; at the same time, they must be administered with care and caution. Antibiotic resistance, once developed, will undo the remedy for the patients. Hence, what is required is proper awareness instead of unwanted fear for use of antibiotics Dr Arunachalam succinctly concludes that when there are certain specific norms for use of any medicine for that matter, they must be strictly adhered to. If we transgress the limit, then it becomes futile. This is equally applicable in the case of antibiotics too.
(This article written by Monika Parasuraman has been transcreated in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)
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