Meds and you

17 November 2009

Do not use antibiotics unnecessarily

There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t take antibiotics unnecessarily.

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There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, all medications have side effects. The more often you take them, the more likely you are to have side effects. Most side effects are minor (stomach upset, nausea, diarrhoea), but sometimes they can be more severe.

In addition, antibiotics are expensive, and unnecessary use of antibiotics can put quite a dent in your pocket.

The main reason why antibiotics should not be taken unnecessarily is the problem of bacterial resistance.

Bacteria are constantly evolving new methods to allow them to survive exposure to an antibiotic. The more often bacteria are exposed to an antibiotic, the more likely they are to develop resistance to that antibiotic.

This is an increasing problem worldwide, and some bacteria are now resistant to most, if not all, antibiotics.

When you consider this in conjunction with the fact that very few new classes of antibiotic have been developed in the last decade or so, antibiotic resistance is a major concern in the health profession. Most of the new antibiotics that are being marketed are in fact modifications of older antibiotics.

 

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