Effects Of Overuse Of Antibiotics, Even When They’re Not The Appropriate Treatment

We give antibiotics immediately to the children as soon as any symptoms of cold, cough or fever are seen. These three diseases are very common and most of the children get impacted with either cold or cough the every other month. It is not supporting our kid’s immune system or making it more vulnerable to future diseases by over protecting children from all the common diseases. All the diseases are not that much harmful. Some can be a blessing in disguise.
Antibiotics are necessary and can even save lives, but they are also overprescribed and misused. When antibiotics are prescribed to children for viral (rather than bacterial) illnesses, they are ineffective and can cause lifelong changes to gut bacteria, metabolism, and the immune system.

The overuse of antibiotics — especially taking antibiotics even when they’re not the appropriate treatment — promotes antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections but not viral infections. It’s not, however, the right treatment for most sore throats, which are caused by viruses.
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. The bacteria survive and continue to multiply, causing more harm.
The two major types of germs that can make people sick- bacteria and viruses. Although certain bacteria and viruses cause diseases with similar symptoms, the ways these two organisms multiply and spread illness are different.
Bacteria are living organisms existing as single cells. Bacteria are everywhere and most don’t cause any harm, and in some cases may be beneficial. Lactobacillus, for example, lives in the intestine and helps digest food.
But some bacteria are harmful and can cause illness by invading the human body, multiplying, and interfering with normal bodily processes. Antibiotics are effective against bacteria because they work to kill these living organisms by stopping their growth and reproduction.

Viruses on the other hand, are not alive and cannot exist on their own; they are particles containing genetic material wrapped in a protein coat. Viruses grow and reproduce only after they have invaded other living cells. The body’s immune system can fight off some viruses before they cause illness, but others (colds, for example) must simply run their course.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses
Taking antibiotics for colds and other viral illnesses not only won’t work, but it can also have dangerous side effects — over time, this practice actually helps create bacteria that are harder to kill.
In addition to antibiotic resistance, overusing antibiotics can lead to other problems. Antibiotics kill many different bacteria; even the good ones that help keep the body healthy. Sometimes taking antibiotics can cause a person to develop diarrhea due to a lack of good bacteria that help digest food properly.

Antibiotics can only treat bacterial infection if taken for the full amount of time prescribed by the doctor.
“So think Twice before giving your child antibiotics.”

By – Swati Sharma
Department of MLT
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College Of Bio-Medical Sciences & Hospital

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