World Antibiotic Awareness Week: How to use antibiotics correctly


World Antibiotic Awareness Week is celebrated from 14th-20th November every year. The day is observed to spread awareness about antibiotic resistance and proper use of antibiotics.

Antibiotics are one of the probably life-saving medicines that have added value to the medical industry. They are used to treat infections caused by bacteria and some other parasites. Before the discovery of antibiotics, many people would die due to bacterial infections which are easily treated today. Antibiotic resistance is known as resistance developed by bacteria against antibiotics so that they are no longer effective. However, antibiotics, if not used properly can pose a serious threat to our lives. Here’s how you can use them effectively:

  • There are different class of antibiotics available today in the market capable of treating various species of bacteria and other parasites. Therefore, it becomes mandatory to select the right antibiotic for your infection. Not being able to do so can mean that the bacterial infection is left untreated and it can worsen. Get professional help from a nearby general physician.
  • It’s important to complete the course as prescribed by your doctor. You must not stop even if you start feeling well midway through the course. Remember, stopping midway can lead to serious repercussions. Never try to save a few pills for the next time.
  • Always take the prescribed dose. Failure to do so may reduce the effectiveness of the antibiotic and can allow the bacteria a chance to survive where it may worsen your condition. Missing the dose may also lead to antibiotic resistance especially if you do not complete the entire course.
  • Antibiotics prescribed by the doctor for you should never be shared with someone else. Sharing prescription medication is mainly dangerous for children, pregnant women and the elderly. Do not share even if the name of the antibiotic is same.
  • Antibiotics may cause problems with the digestive system. So if you are experiencing some, you should ask your doctor about using Probiotics. They contain bacterial spores which encourage good bowel bacteria that may be destroyed by the antibiotics.
  • Always follow up with your doctor after completing the prescribed antibiotic course. You need follow up consultation if your symptoms are not fully resolved. A repeat course of the antibiotic may be necessary.

Antibiotics are indisputably useful against bacterial infections. However, arbitrary use has resulted in development of resistance in patients with bacterial infections thereby leading to long lasting illnesses. Therefore, it is recommended to complete the course of antibiotics without missing a single dose.


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