Antibiotics Overview

Worried about antibiotic resistance? Learn more about what it really is, and what can you do to reduce the possible risks of antibiotic treatments.

Antibiotics Overview

Oral antibiotic pills can play an extremely significant role in helping to conquer an ailment caused by bacteria. A few days of treatment are usually enough for you to start feeling better, even if the condition was severe and was causing a lot of trouble before. The possible side effects of oral antibiotics do vary, but generally are mild and only rarely cause any significant distress. Over the counter antibiotics are widely available, since you do not need a prescription to buy these drugs in most countries, not yet at least. Nowadays, what is more important is the risk of developing antibiotic resistance due to misuse of these drugs.

Potential Risk of Using Antibiotics

The topic about antibacterial resistance has become a buzz lately, due to compelling evidence from the World Health Organization that the continued overuse of antibiotics both in medicine and in farming has led to increasing risks of certain infections becoming completely incurable. The risk is very real, and unless something is done we might end up with a disease that will brush off even the most potent and even potentially hazardous antibiotics with no effort at all. The option to explore natural antibiotics in more depth is seen as very prominent.

What is Antibiotic Resistance

Basically, antibiotic resistance is a condition when bacteria become increasingly accommodated with the antibiotics that were supposed to kill them outright, surviving through the treatment and becoming even more resilient to future therapy. This effect is cumulative and can grow over time: a bacterial infection that can spread from person to person can gradually build up resistance by jumping from organism to organism, eventually becoming a very tough opponent for common antibiotics to treat.

When can Antibiotic Resistance Develop

There are several main caused for developing antibiotic resistance:

  • If you continuously take the same antibiotic over an extended period of time. The longer the treatment, the more resilient and tough the bacteria may become, eventually growing able to negate most of the effects of the medication.
  • If you take antibiotics often. It does not really matter if you have a legitimate cause for taking these drugs (e.g. you have recurrent symptoms or a chronic condition) or if you simply find yourself using an antibiotic "just in case". The more antibiotics you take, the less effective they are estimated to be in the future.
  • If you are not taking antibiotics the way you are supposed to, e.g. missing or skipping designated doses or quitting the treatment before it is complete. If your treatment is, say, 10 days of daily oral antibiotic pills, you should not quit after 5, even if you feel completely cured. The symptoms may be gone, but the cause is still there, albeit weakened.

Ways to Prevent Antibiotic Resistance

While the environmental saturation with antibiotics (on farms, gardens, both public and private) is not something a general consumer can do anything with, you can still reduce the risk of personal antibacterial resistance for antibiotics by following a few simple rules when using these medications:

  • First of all, you need to learn to use antibiotics properly, including natural antibiotics. Those instructions, regulations and guidelines exist for a reason, and they involve more than just convenience and orientation on the general oblivious consumer. Following the baseline recommendations about using antibiotics can greatly reduce the risk of developing antibiotic resistance. Does the instructions sheet say it is advised to take your antibiotic pill in the evening, or something along those lines? Then you should try to do just that, even if you do not think it really matters.
  • Second, you should learn not to abuse antibiotics by taking them too often. A recurrent rash can just as effectively be treated by certain antiseptic drugs, natural antibiotics, and even home remedies. Explore the problem and ask your doctor for advise. It is in your best interest to have as many alternative ways to cure the symptoms as possible.
  • Third, it is a good idea to figure out which medications should be used against which conditions, and get as much information as possible to ensure that the optimal risk/reward scenario is maintained. For example, if you have a mild skin infection, it may not be preferable to just pop a pill and be done with the treatment. Instead, you may want to take the time to choose a topical medication, a cream, and avoid unnecessary systemic exposure to the oral version of the drug. To better expand on this topic, we have dedicated a few articles to several commonly used oral antibiotic pills.

Detailed Information

Amoxicillin Clavulanate

Tetracycline Hydrochloride