are a powerful group of drugs that are clinically used to fightagainst infections caused by certain types of bacteria and parasites.In effect, antibiotics work to destroy or deter the growth and spreadof the bacteria in the body. When used appropriately, the drugs maybe potential lifesavers. On the other hand, the misuses ofantibiotics present serious health risks to its users. The drugs areusually prescribed by doctors when found necessary upon completion ofan assessment. However, it has become hard get out of a doctor’soffice without a script for an antibiotic. This essay discusses thereasons for this difficulty and explains how it contributes to thenumber of antibiotic-resistant illnesses. Further, the implicationsof the overuse of antibiotics are discussed.
Everyso often, doctors prescribe antibiotics to patients even when theydon’t need them. Given the difficulty that doctors face in theprocess of distinguishing between bacterial and viral infections,most of them are tempted to prescribe antibiotics whenever they areuncertain. Moreover, many patients often demand antibioticprescriptions for viral infections forcing doctors to prescribe themunnecessarily (Krans, 2016). Additionally, doctors are often inclinedto offer antibiotic prescriptions when they believe that theirpatients expect them to (Miesel, 2016). This is because they believethat by doing so, their patient will be satisfied with their servicesand as such, makes it difficult for a patient to leave without aprescription.
Inthis case, the excessive and unnecessary prescriptions have largelycontributed to the increased number of antibiotic resistantillnesses. This is as a result of the extensive and frequent use ofantibiotics, to a point that the organisms which the drugs have beendesigned to eliminate have adapted to them (Centers for DiseasePrevention and Control, 2016). In effect, it makes the drugs lesseffective in treating or preventing bacterial infections. On a largerscale, this issue poses serious implication to the global publichealth as it contributes to long-lasting illnesses that may result indisability or even death (Carlet, 2014).
Furthermore,the misuse and overuse of antibiotics have been identified as theleading causes of antibiotic resistance (Shallcross et al., 2014).This is because it creates an environment for the developmentopportunistic bacterial infections such as clostridium difficilecolitis. This infection has no substantial resistance to the medicineused to treat it. However, its prevalence is augmented by the overuseof antibiotics. This is due to the emergence of new and toxic strainsof the infection known as the C. difficile which is resistant tocertain antibiotics of the fluoroquinolone category. In addition, itis a nosocomial infection whose overgrowth causes an inflammation ofthe colon, clinically known as pseudomembranous colitis (Wright,2016).
Inconclusion, antibiotics have largely contributed to the well-being ofthe community for many years. This is because it has lessened theincidences of deaths and illnesses that result from infectiousdisease. However, in recent years, its misuse has become a globalconcern in public health. This is as a result of the resistance andnew strains if infections that the infectious organism develop asmeans of adapting. This health issue is further amplified by theunnecessary antibiotic prescriptions provided by doctors on demand bytheir patients as well as their uncertainty in distinguishingbacterial infections from viral infections. As such, this calls foran urgent restructuring of the healthcare system in order to moderatethe use and prescription of antibiotics. In doing so, public healthoutcomes are bound to improve.
Carlet,J. (2014). Antibiotic resistance: Protecting antibiotics-thedeclaration of the world alliance against antibiotic resistance.IndianJournal of Critical Care Medicine, 18(10),643.
Centersfor Disease Prevention and Control,. (2016). Antibiotic/ Antimicrobial Resistance | CDC.Cdc.gov.Retrieved 4 November 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/
Krans,B. (2016). AntibioticAddiction: How Patient Demand Helps Drive an Epidemic. Healthline.com.Retrieved 4 November 2016, from http://www.healthline.com/health/antibiotics/addiction-how-patient-demand-helps- drive-epidemic
Meisel,Z. (2016). Whydoctors give out antibiotics you don`t need..SlateMagazine.Retrieved 4 November 2016, from http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2008/05/the_pin kbubblegum_flavored_dilemma.html
Shallcross,L. J., & Davies, D. S. C. (2014). Antibiotic overuse: a keydriver of antimicrobial resistance. BrJ Gen Pract,64(629),604-605.
Wright,M. (2015). ClostridiumDifficile. C Diff Symptoms and information | Patient.Patient. Retrieved 4 November 2016, fromhttp://patient.info/health/clostridium-difficile- leaflet