Protect Yourself from Antibiotic Resistance

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ActivHealth Tips

1. Antibiotics are medicines taken to prevent and treat infections caused by bacteria.
2. Antibiotics should be taken for the entire prescription – and NOT stop in between when the patient feels better.
3. To prevent antibiotic resistance, do NOT use antibiotic without a doctor’s prescription. Do NOT buy over the counter antibiotic medicine or pressurize your doctor to prescribe antibiotics.
4. DoNOTuse antibiotics for viruses like colds or flu, antibiotics donot work on them.
5. Never use left-over antibiotics prescribed for other conditions without consulting your doctor

Antibiotics are medicines taken to prevent and treat infections caused by bacteria. They are used to destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria. As antibiotics keep bacteria from reproducing, this provides ample time for your body’s natural defenses to act. However, antibiotics are not effective against viruses, such as

• Cold
• Flu
• Most cases of cough and bronchitis
• Most Sore throats-

If you take antibiotics in virus caused diseases, then it does more harm than good. Using antibiotics when it is not required or not using them as prescribed can add to antibiotic resistance.

What is antibiotic resistance?

If used properly, antibiotics can fight bacterial infections. However, there is a growing problem of antibiotic resistance, when bacteria are able to resist the effects of an antibiotic. Due to misuse or overuse of antibiotic, bacteria manifests and becomesresistant to the antibiotics. Over a period of time, bacteria may grow and multiply, which can lead to various problems like:

• Longer illness
• Difficulty in treatment
• More complicated illnesses
• Frequent visits to doctor
• High chances of infecting other people

Antibiotic resistance can also cause infection that cannot be cured by certain antibiotics, which demands for a use of stronger and more expensive medications.

How to prevent antibiotic resistance?

In order to prevent antibiotic resistance, do not use antibiotic without a doctor’s prescription. Also, do not buy over the counter antibiotic medicine or pressurize your doctor to prescribe you an antibiotic. Here are more tips to promote proper use of antibiotics:

• Don’t use antibiotics for viruses like colds or flu, antibiotics don’t work on them
• When you are prescribed with antibiotics, follow the directions carefully. Even if you feel better without completion of the prescribed course, you have to finish your medicine as some bacteria may survive and re-infect
• Antibiotics are most effective if they are taken regularly on time. So, do not skip doses
• Do not take antibiotics prescribed for someone else, it may not be appropriate in your case and worsen your condition
• In case of any confusion or uncertainty related to prescribed antibiotics, talk to your health care professional

References

http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/194460/1/9789241509817_eng.pdf

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