Overuse Of Antibiotics : A Silent Killer

Overuse Of Antibiotics: A Silent Killer

overuse of antibiotics

Every year, either you or your family member probably faces illness such as cold or flu, sore throats, mild jaundice or disease caused by viruses. When you visit your doctor for these illnesses, do you automatically expect a prescription for antibiotics?

If No, Then its good! But, many parents do and they’re even angry if not get, while leaving the doctor’s chamber.  But Believe it! your doctor is favoring you by not reaching for the prescription of anti-biotic.

Taking the antibiotic when there is no need or continue the medicine while its course has over is called Overuse of Antibiotics, and friends, its damn serious! See the overuse of antibiotics statistics: :

Overuse Of Antibiotics Statistics

overuse of antibiotics statistics

  • 7 lakh estimated annual number of deaths done worldwide due to overuse of antibiotics. This figure is predicted to 1 crore by 2050.
  • 75% of Indians in a WHO survey thought incorrectly, that colds and flu can be treated with antibiotics
  • 58% respondents knew they should stop taking antibiotics only when they finish the course prescribed
  • India’s usage of antibiotic in 2001 was 8bn pills, which is rising by the growth of 62%
  • Consumption of antibiotic pills reached to 12.9bn (estimated ) in India by 2010 in comparison with 10bn in China and 6.8bn in the US
  • Worldwide antibiotic usage in the first decade of 21st century rose by 36%.

What Happens If You Take Too Much Antibiotics?

What Happens If You Take Too Much Antibiotics

Now, the question is –What Happens If You Take Too Much Antibiotics or Inappropriate doses?

It can be easily understood by an example. Suppose a patient is suffering from ‘Tuberculosis’ and taking antibiotic-‘A’ regularly and not following the frequency & course period, instructed by the doctor.

Now after a period of time, because of inappropriate and overuse of antibiotic-“A” the bacteria or microbes of tuberculosis will cover itself with a thick protected layer that will work as resistant to antibiotic-‘A’.

It means in future antibiotic “A” will not work in that patient. This is called antibiotic resistance or bacterial resistance.

You will have to use now the higher doses or stronger antibiotic to treat that patient and if this episode repeats again 1-2 times with other stronger antibiotics also, the patient may count in MDR ( Multi Drug Resistance) cases.

Hence no antibiotic will work on him in near future and that will directly & seriously affect his treatment.

Antibiotics And Viruses

Antibiotics Effect On Viruses

source: Ultraprevention

Antibiotics and viruses are two different microbes. Antibiotics cannot treat infections caused by viruses, fungi or other parasites. As stated above some common diseases such as cold, flu, and sinus infections, mild viral fever is caused by viruses.

The overuse of antibiotics can be prevented by inhibiting its use in viral infections because there is no effect of antibiotic on viruses as well as on fungi. Giving antibiotics unnecessarily not only produces the antibiotic resistance cases but also kills the good bacteria in the gut, hence may cause side effects like antibiotic-induced diarrhea or allergic reaction.

Moreover, giving antibiotic for viruses can’t make the patient better.

How To Take Antibiotics?


Follow the steps to know how to take antibiotics safely and correctly:

  • Stop self-medication. Take antibiotics exactly as the doctor prescribed or the label states: measure the correct dose and take it timely, and especially complete the full course of medication as it prescribed.
  • If mild diarrhea occurs, take plenty of fluids.
  • As the other drugs antibiotic also have the side effects. If other symptoms occur, talk to prescribing doctor.
  • Do NOT take antibiotics without a prescription!
  • Don’t take someone else’s medicine.
  • Don’t take leftover antibiotics from another illness.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other’s illness. Means, It is not necessary that the same antibiotic will work on you with same efficacy if the disease is similar to other.

sources: CCCEP, Lancet, WHO, Huffington Post; https://www.poison.org/articles


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