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Despite the fact that antibiotics are effective in treating a variety of diseases, they can also be used improperly or excessively, which can lead to different complications. Importantly, prescribing antibiotics for a viral infection is not an effective treatment due to the fact that antibiotics are aimed at fighting bacteria (Adams 231). However, the symptoms of viral and bacterial diseases can be similar and, therefore, prescribing such treatment is frequently incorrect. The purpose of this paper is to consider the possible consequences of antibiotics overuse and to analyze the possible ways to minimize their effects on health.
Effects and Issues
It is crucial to emphasize that the use of antibiotics for erroneous purposes or their overuse can lead to several consequences. If the drug is used incorrectly, its effect becomes insufficient. This is due to the fact that over time the bacteria begin to mutate and develop a drug-resistant strain (Podolsky 93). The same occurrence happens when the treatment is wrong or with an increase and an untimely termination of the treatment. The patient becomes a carrier of resistant infections; accordingly, he or she can no longer be treated with the first-generation antibiotics, and the risk of complications or death increases.
One of the main issues associated with their overuse is that antibiotics created to fight infections give rise to new and more complicated infections, which require stronger medication. In addition, the inappropriate use of antibiotics can cause serious harm to the body of the patient. For instance, one of the most common complications is dysbiosis. Drugs like amoxicillin, doxycycline, chloramphenicol, and others are highly effective, but they have a negative effect on the intestinal microflora, which is responsible for the gastrointestinal tract (Tamma 136). As a result, the patient’s immune system gets weaker along with all the metabolic processes of the body. The other effects can be expressed in irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and even obesity.
Minimizing the Usage
To prevent the misuse of antibiotics, healthcare professionals should ensure that this course of treatment is necessary. It is important to confirm the appointment of antibiotics through analyses and other health assessments. It is necessary to inform the patient about when he or she needs to start the drug treatment or to observe whether the body can cope with the infection on its own. It is essential to take into account all the patient’s allergic reactions and chronic diseases (Blaser 16).
Each specialist should analyze the interaction of antibiotics with other drugs that the patient receives. This is especially important when a person takes antihypertensive drugs or anticonvulsants. Also, it is important to consider when the patient took antibiotics the last time as it is recommended to have this course of the treatment no more than once a year (Myers 108). Needless to say, patients should be knowledgeable about the necessity to not exceed or reduce the antibiotics intake without medical supervision and not to change the dosage without preliminary agreement with the health care specialist.
MRSA is a strain of staph that is resistant to most of the known antibiotics. People with a reduced immune response (with HIV, cancer patients, transplant patients) are at risk and require special attention in respect to this dangerous illness. Antibiotics such as vancomycin and teicoplanin, which should be appointed by a doctor solely, are considered effective for this disease. In addition, cubits in (daptomycin), a cyclic lipopeptide of natural origin, is active only against gram-positive bacteria (Scuderi 252). This drug is sufficient for patients with complicated skin and soft tissue infections and methicillin-resistant strains; consequently, it will also be effective in the treatment of MRSA.
The overuse of antibiotics is rather a widespread occurrence. Healthcare specialists should raise people’s awareness regarding the consequences of incorrect drug intake and inform patients about the safe practices of medication usage. It is advisable to consider the alternative courses of treatment prior to appointing the antibiotics.
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Blaser, Martin. Missing Microbes, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2014. Print.
Myers, Mark. Symptoms of Diseases, Bloomington: Xlibris Corporation, 2014. Print.
Podolsky, Scott. The Antibiotic Era, Baltimore: JHU Press, 2014. Print.
Scuderi, Giles. Techniques in Revision Hip and Knee Arthroplasty, New York: Elsevier, 2014. Print.
Tamma, Pranita. Antimicrobial Stewardship, New York: Elsevier, 2014. Print.