Antibiotics are one of the best inventions in modern medicine. It has the ability to save lives. It can help remove infections that cannot be treated by other means. However, antibiotics are not perfect. They are not foolproof and effects can vary from person to person. Antibiotics can even cause serious problems if they are used incorrectly or taken for the wrong type of infection.
This has caused a lot of panic in us and with this panic a lot of myths were created about antibiotics. Some of these myths can be incredibly harmful to us if we keep on believing them. Public awareness can help save lives. To help identify the truth and myths about antibiotics read on below.
Antibiotics Can Be Used to Cure Common Colds and Flu’s – False
Antibiotics are used against bacteria. Colds and flus are caused by viruses. There is a huge difference between bacteria and viruses and can be a bit difficult to break-down, but the simple answer is that antibiotics have no effect of viruses whatsoever. So, it does not have any effect on your common colds and flu. The more antibiotics we use, the possibility of antibiotic resistance increase and increases the numbers of bacteria. The misuse of antibiotics for viral infections is one of the biggest causes of resistance in the world.
Antibiotics If Used Correctly, Will Still Cause Resistance – True
As much as we want this to be true, it is not. Long ago, bacteria had to protect themselves from substances produced by fungi and other bacteria. These substances were designed to kill them and protect the body. Alexander Fleming made use of this discovery and created penicillin. That is how antibiotics were born. The bacteria that are able to survive antibiotics will have an advantage in the next attack. They can also acquire a resistance gene from other bacteria. Now, every time you use antibiotics – the ones that have no resistance is killed and ones that acquire resistance will remain. Even if you follow the instruction for your antibiotics to a T, it can still lead to resistance.
Once I Don’t Have Any of the Symptoms I Can Stop Using My Antibiotics – False/True
This can depend on what you are fighting off. If it is used incorrectly for viral infection, then the less time you use it the better it would be for your health. However, if it is for a bacterial infection – you have to finish it as it is prescribed. You cannot really identify which one is viral or bacterial, only your doctor can. Stopping your antibiotics because you feel better or don’t have any of the symptoms any more is not a good idea. You lose your symptoms because the antibiotic is killing the bacterial infection. If you stop early, miss doses or not take it at the right time, then the antibiotic will not be able to kill the bacteria officially and allow it to replicate. It is a lot easier for more bacteria to be resistant if there is not enough antibiotic present. So, always complete your prescription and take it at the right time. Never stop taking your antibiotics just because you feel better, you are making yourself more prone to recurring of these bacterial infections. Remember, the more repeated courses you take for your antibiotic can make you more resistant.
Antibiotics Cause Resistance in Our Bacteria, Not Our Body – True
There really is nothing we can do in our body that can help fight off resistance since it does occur in our bacteria. If there are any myths saying that eating this or that, exercising and so on can help stop resistance – it is completely false. It is vital for each and every one of us to be aware of these myths and truth about antibiotics. In the past few years there has been a dramatic rise in multi drug resistant bacteria. This is plaguing our community. Approximately seven hundred thousand people each year suffer from complication and even death due to resistant infection. This number is said to rise by millions in the years to come if no action is taken. Being aware of antibiotic resistance, proper antibiotic use and eliminating antibiotic myths can help reduce the crisis. Spread the word!