Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

What is Antibiotic Overuse

antibioticsThe flu season is back, almost anyone we know is falling ill with cold and cough. And if such ailments are related to your child’s health you would never take a chance. You rush to the doctor and naturally expect a prescription for antibiotics. Do you know antibiotics are only effective against infections caused by bacteria, and do not help against diseases caused by viruses. So taking antibiotics when your child has a virus may do more harm than good and in addition it may create a risk of adverse reaction, such as:
• Infection
• Stomach upset
• Diarrhoea

World of antibiotics
Antibiotics are drugs that are used to treat infections, particularly those caused by bacteria. These were first used in the 1940s, which was certainly one of the great advances in medicine. To understand how antibiotics work, you have to know about the two types of germs that can make your child sick: bacteria and viruses.

• Bacteria are living organisms existing as single cells. Though most of them don’t cause any harm, some can cause illness invading the human body and interfering with normal bodily processes. Antibiotics are effective against bacteria because they work to kill these living organisms by stopping their growth and reproduction.

• Viruses, on the other hand, are not alive and cannot exist on their own. Viruses live, grow and reproduce only after they have invaded other living cells. They do not respond to antibiotics at all.

Medical world is grappling with the problem of overuse of antibiotics. It is important to note that a lot of doctors face unnecessary pressure as well when it comes to prescribing medicine. When a child gets ill, the first step the parents take is to demand antibiotics to help their child heal more rapidly. But parents need to realize the doctor’s opinion and respect their discretion. The decision to recommend an antibiotic varies from doctor to doctor and from patient to patient .In many cases it seems very tough to decide whether the infection is due to a bacteria or a virus. In such circumstances tests become necessary to find out the germ of the particular infection.

Antibiotic resistance is a widespread problem, and that the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls “one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.” It can cause significant danger and suffering for people who have common infections that once were easily treatable with antibiotics. When antibiotics fail to work, the consequences are longer lasting illness. As a result the sick individuals are not the only persons who can suffer the consequences, families and entire communities feel the impact when disease- causing germs become resistant to antibiotics.

So what should you do while taking antibiotics?

  • Remember antibiotics treat only bacterial infection. Talk to your doctor about antibiotic resistance.
  •  Make sure if your child is taking all medication as prescribed. Follow your doctor’s advice completely.
  • Complete the prescribed course even if after taking medicines for 2 or 3 days, your child gets well. If treatment stops too soon, some bacteria may survive and re-infect you. 
  • Throw away any leftover medication once your child has completed his prescription. 
  •  Many illnesses like simple coughs, colds, mild diarrhoea, skin infections tend to run a self-limiting course of about 3 to 7 days. A great majority of these do not need antibiotics. Adequate rest, fluids, balanced diet and mild painkillers are good enough for your child.
  •  Do not demand an antibiotic for your child when your doctor is reluctant to prescribe it. It will not helpful for your child’s treatment.
  • Do not skip doses.
  • Do not offer one child’s prescribed antibiotic to another child. In spite of the same symptom the antibiotic may not be appropriate for your child’s illness.
  •  Avoid giving antibiotics to your child on a full stomach or with milk or antacids. These may hamper the absorption of antibiotics from the stomach.
  • Inform your doctor before hand if your child or family has a history of drug allergies, eruptions or asthma.
  • Watch out for any unexpected or unusual reactions while the child’s on the antibiotics. Inform your doctor immediately if the child develops severe itching, swelling of the body or dark urine.

In order to avoid flu work on child’s immunity and encouraging practices like hand washing. If your child is unwell, do not send him to school.  After all prevention is always better than cure.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInFlattr the authorShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on RedditShare on TumblrBuffer this pageDigg thisShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

Category: Health Concerns
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
© 2014 Guardian Lifecare Private Limited.
Our Other Websites : – Corporate  |  Healthcare Products  |  Blog

Featuring Recent Posts WordPress Widget development by YD