First, lets start with a short historical review: penicillin was the first-high profile antibiotic, discovered by Nobel laureate Alexander Fleming in 1928.
Being a great achievement, it was mass-produced in time for the Second World War. Now penicillin joins over 100 antibiotics commonly prescribed to treat bacterial infections. These medications are prescribed to kill and inhibit further growth of bacteria.
Lately, there was a big hubbub about antibiotics after Lancet Infectious Diseases reported the spread of a new drug-resistant superbug coming from South Asia. News agencies, one by one, kept on announcing: antibiotics era is coming to a close. As Sarah Boseley, editor and columnist of British newspaper the Guardian asserted: “…Now, the post-antibiotic apocalypse is within sight.”
But there is the opposite opinion, which claims that the news about antibiotics uselessness is overblown. Do not hurry up denying what you are having unless you don’t find appropriate substitution. Do not hurry up to announce this world without antibiotics.
The effectiveness of antibiotics depends on how people use it. Unfortunately, even some health care providers have forgotten that antibiotics are not effective treatment for fighting viruses or fungal infections. Antibiotics should only be taken as prescribed for bacterial infections. Antibiotics overuse creates drug resistance. As doctors started prescribing them for nearly every malady, bacteria fought back, evolving to better resist them.
However, it is in people’s hands to improve the existing situation and here are the main recommendations:
- Never save unused antibiotics for later use or take antibiotics which have been prescribed for someone else. Antibiotics misuse causes serious consequences.
- Remember: antibiotics won’t help against non-bacterial infections like cold or flu (both caused by viruses).
- When a patient does have a bacterial infection, his health provider usually recommends to take all of the antibiotic medication that where prescribed, even if the patient feels better in a few days. This is to make sure that as much of the bacteria is killed off as possible for the first time around. If just some fractions of the bacteria will be killed off (enough to make the patient feels better), the patient may still be able to spread the surviving bacteria, which are more robust than usual. This kind of practice can lead to a slow build-up of antibiotic resistance within a community. So, the antibiotic treatment must be brought to an end.
- In 2006 the European Union banned routine use of antibiotics in animal feed because of evidence about its drug-resistance consequences for humans. Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is recommending the same for the U.S. as well, for the same reason. Hopefully the decision will take effect soon.
- Frequent hand-washing among medical staff and people in general is an essential measure.
- Diagnosing new MRSA infections quickly. Immune to a wide range of all but the most powerful (and expensive) antibiotics, MRSA infections are extremely hard to treat in patients. So after detecting MRSA infection, the patient must be immediately isolated so that he does not come in contact with other susceptible patients. To isolate the infected patient effectively, the hospital needs just empty bed in a private room. Unfortunately, this practice is common in some hospitals in some parts of the world, but by far not everywhere.
And there is last crucial thing which is necessary to mention: since e-commerce is a common thing today, even medications are sold online. Antibiotics are not an exception. There are a great number of pharmacies which sell antibiotics online for much cheaper prices, moreover, without a prescription. The price offers are so attractive that there are more and more online customers. What should you remember when buy antibiotic drugs online:
- Never adjust your prescription by yourself. Buy exactly that medication which your doctor has prescribed for you.
- Ask the online pharmacy to provide you with the valid license.
- Try to receive as much as possible feedbacks and reviews of pharmacy where you are going to order medications.
Use antibiotics wisely as there is nothing better discovered so far to substitute them.