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Antibiotics: Too Many Puts Us All at Risk

Antibiotics: Too Many Puts Us All at Risk

February 4th, 2011 | Posted in 3 Various Specific Problems

All antibiotics have the problem that inappropriate use of them lead to the bugs they are meant to destroy can develop a resistance to them.  This warning, which came from Alexander Fleming in 1922 when he discovered penicillin, has been greatly ignored and many antibiotics are no longer useful, resulting in limiting the range of treatments that are available to sick patients to perhaps more costly and more toxic drugs.

This is especially so in the case of diarrhoeal diseases, respiratory tract infections, meningitis, sexually transmitted infections and hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and VRE.   Besides hygiene, etc., the overuse of antibiotics, both in hospitals and in the community, and the emergence of antibiotic resistance is also a factor.

In Ireland antibiotic use increases in Winter indicating that they are used for colds, flus and viral infections for which they have no benefit whatsoever.  So why are they prescribed? Quick decisions! ‘Err on the side of caution’.

We need to put up with a snuffy cold or a bit of a headache.

Antibiotic resistance poses a ‘genuine serious threat that needs to be tackled’. It causes unnecessary illness and unnecessary death.  They need to be used more cautiously so that when they are genuinely of use, especially in older or sicker people, they will work.

Overuse, whether prescribed or privately bought on the internet, put the whole community at risk, because there can be consequences for the community in terms of the emergence of antibiotic resistance. The bug becomes immune to treatment.

The use of acupuncture for pain control and inflammation, etc. can help avoid the overuse of antibiotics.