Antibiotics, which are also known as antimicrobial drugs, are drugs to fight infections caused by bacteria, both in humans and in animals. Antibiotics work by killing bacteria or making it difficult for bacteria to grow and multiply. Although antibiotics can be used in bacteria, antibiotics cannot be used on viruses. To find out more, let's look at a few facts about the following antibiotics.
1. Viral diseases cannot be treated by antibiotics
Because antibiotics are anti-bacterial, viral infections cannot be treated by antibiotics. Some common infections caused by viruses include:
- Almost all sore throats
- Almost all cough and bronchitis conditions
- Some sinus infections
- Some ear infections
2. Side effects of too many antibiotics: antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to fight the effects of antibiotics. This resistance occurs because bacteria adapt to drugs, thereby reducing the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infection. The bacteria can finally survive and continue to multiply, thus bringing tremendous harm to the body.
The use of excessive antibiotics can trigger bacterial immunity to antibiotics. Why? Because every time someone consumes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria can be killed, while antibiotic-resistant germs are allowed to grow and multiply. Repeated and inappropriate use of antibiotics is the main cause of increased bacterial immunity to drugs.
Although antibiotics must be used to treat bacterial infections, this drug is not effective against viral infections. Adequate use of antibiotics often triggers the spread of antibiotic resistance. Intelligent use of antibiotics is the main key to controlling the spread of resistance.
3. How can bacteria be resistant to antibiotics?
Bacteria can be resistant to antibiotics in several ways. There are bacteria that can neutralize antibiotics by making them harmless, others can pump antibiotics back out before they harm bacteria. Some bacteria also can change the structure of the outside, so antibiotics have no way to touch bacteria.
After being exposed to antibiotics, sometimes one bacterium can survive because it finds a way to fight antibiotics. If one bacterium becomes resistant to antibiotics, the bacteria can multiply and replace all the bacteria killed. So, with selective antibiotic exposure, bacteria can survive and be immune to antibiotic drugs due to mutations in genetic material.
4. When do you not need to take antibiotics?
Antibiotics are not needed to deal with viral infections, such as colds, flu, or mononucleosis. If you take antibiotics when you don't need them, then you can increase your risk of getting an illness caused by resistant bacteria.
5. How to take antibiotics that are correct and safe
It's important to understand that, even though antibiotics are very useful drugs, they are designed only for bacterial infections. The things you need to do to prevent bacterial immunity are:
- Talk to your doctor about antibiotic resistance.
- Ask whether antibiotics are beneficial for your disease.
- Ask whatever you can to cure the disease faster.
- Don't use antibiotics for diseases caused by viral infections, such as colds or flu.
- Do not leave a few antibiotics prescribed for subsequent diseases.
- Take antibiotics exactly as the doctor suggests.
- Don't miss a dose. Even when conditions have improved, because if antibiotics are stopped, some bacteria can survive and re-infect.
- Do not take antibiotics prescribed for others, because the drug may not be suitable for your disease. Taking the wrong medicine can give the opportunity for bacteria to multiply.
- If the doctor states that your illness is not due to a bacterial infection, then don't force the doctor to prescribe antibiotics.
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