Antibiotics are medicines that help to destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria in humans. It is also called as anti-bacterial. It thus helps in preventing and fighting bacterial infection. In this article, we discuss how antibiotics have been effective and why its resistance is a growing concern.
If antibiotics are used properly, they can save the life of a person by either stopping the bacteria from reproducing or permanently destroying them. Sir Alexander Fleming was the first person who invented an antibiotic. Penicillin was the first antibiotic that was invented in the year 1928. Today you will get many Penicillin based antibiotics such as ampicillin, amoxicillin, and penicillin G in the market, which is highly used in preventing bacterial infection.
How Antibiotics Have Been Effective?
The main function of the immune system of our body is to cope up or fight with the bacterial infection. However, sometimes the number of harmful bacteria is so huge that the immune system cannot fight with them. In such cases, it becomes necessary to take antibiotics. If you can take the proper antibiotic at the right time it will strengthen your immune system to fight with the bacteria and kill them. Apart from that, it also prevents the bacteria from multiplying. Before the knowledge of bacteria, it was seen that 30% of death took place due to bacterial infection. But due to these antibiotics, the fatal bacterial infection can now be cured. So, let us understand how antibiotics have been effective in treating infections.
You can now find many classes of antibiotics in the market, which come in various forms like tablets, capsules, liquids, creams, ointments, etc. All these forms of antibiotic either kill the bacteria or slow down or suspend their growth by the following three ways:
- They attack the wall or make a coating surrounding the bacteria
- They interfere with further reproduction of the bacteria
- They block the production of protein in bacteria.
No matter what format of antibiotic you use if it is taken rightly at the proper time you will observe that the symptoms of bacterial infection will stop. Generally, it is seen that the antibiotic starts working soon after you take it. But you may not get complete relief from the bacterial infection within a day or two. The time that it takes to completely relieve you depends on the type of infection and the dosage of antibiotics you have taken. However, in most cases, it is seen that the patient gets relieved within 7 to 14 days.
Why the Resistance of Antibiotics is a Growing Concern?
Antibiotic is one of the most powerful medications that a doctor can prescribe to treat an infection. However, nowadays it is seen that some types of antibiotics have become less useful than they used to be. This happened due to the increase in antibiotic resistance, which has now become a growing concern. It is necessary to understand why the resistance of antibiotics is a growing concern.
The problem of antibiotic resistance occurs when it is not possible to control the bacterial infection or kill the bacteria any more with the antibiotic. When you take antibiotics it kills or eliminates the sensitive bacteria. When the sensitive bacteria are removed or killed you get rid of the symptoms and feel better. But during the antibiotic treatment, the whole bacteria are not killed or eliminated. The bacteria that survived during the treatment get resistant to that particular antibiotic. Then those bacteria can hold some unique characters which can prevent that particular antibiotic to work on them. Thus the next time you take that antibiotic, it will not work on them and you do not get relieved from the symptoms.
Studies suggest that with time, bacteria have become smarter and along with massive imprudent usage of antibiotics in clinical practice has resulted in resistance of bacteria to antimicrobial agents.1
Some of the serious antibiotic-resistant infections are Clostridium difficile (C. diff), Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).
Antibiotic is a very effective medication that can treat infections and certainly save a person’s life. But the antibiotic resistance has now become a major concern. Knowing why the resistance of antibiotics is a growing concern, can help us take appropriate action.
Sometimes, prescription of antibiotics for treating certain symptoms are unnecessary. Such inappropriate use or overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance. Again in many cases, patients stop taking the antibiotic after they get relief from the symptoms even without consulting the doctor. In such a case, the bacteria survive, which can cause antibiotic resistance. So, it is always advisable to complete the entire course of antibiotics that the doctors have prescribed to resolve the infection completely.
Apart from that, the doctors should prescribe antibiotic only during serious bacterial infection. Thus, taking the right antibiotic and completing its full treatment course can only save humans from the serious concern of antibiotic resistance.
- Why Should Antibiotics Be Avoided When Breastfeeding?
- Pros and Cons of Antibiotics
- Do Antibiotics Help Acne?
- Treating Acne with Antibiotics
- What Antibiotics Are Used To Treat Endocarditis?
- Antibiotics: Groups or Classes, Side Effects, Do Antibiotics Treat Viral Infections & Fungal Infections Also?
- What Antibiotics Can Be Used to Treat Trichomoniasis?