One of the biggest inventions of modern medical science is the antibiotics. From a minor cut on the fingers to any major disease, antibiotics are the cure for all. With their inventions, medical sciences were able to bring into control the most fatal of the diseases.
Antibiotics can be classified into various types depending on their ability to combat diseases. Antibacterials, antifungals, antivirals and antiparasitics are some of its types. The most predominant among them are the antibacterials. They are medications that slow down or destroy the bacterial growth inside your body.
The growth era:
The 1950s to the 1970s was considered to be a golden era for antibiotics. Research and development in this field of medicine were widespread and a number of new inventions were made. Doctors and health practitioners relied heavily on these medicines while treating patients. But the fact was that these medicines were prescribed arbitrarily. Even common people got access to them as they began to be sold indiscriminately on drug stores, and some of them could be bought even without a prescription. This led to their overconsumption. Not only humans, they are also fed to animals to promote their healthy growth and fight diseases which will benefit people commercially. As a result of this unabashed usage, antibiotics started showing what harm they can do to us.
Abuses of Antibiotics:
The World health Organization and the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) stated that the threat that the antibiotic resistance poses has already started showing its impact. Antibiotics not only kill the disease-causing bacteria but also the beneficial bacteria in our body. More so, some of the antibiotics can lead to the outbreak of allergies.
Some antibiotics like penicillin if not taken properly or taken for a brief period of time can lead to the growth of bacteria developing resistance inside our body. This resistance neutralises the impact of the drugs when they are taken the next time. Overuse of certain drugs like fluoroquinolone catalyse antibiotic resistance in bacteria which slows down the treatment of infections. This, in turn, leads to consumption of that drug in high doses, resulting in killing the beneficial bacteria inside our body.
Moreover, excessive use of antibiotics like Achromycin which contains chemical compositions like tetracyclines and cephalosporins has resulted in the outbreak of certain allergies. This includes skin irritation, swelling of the tissues, rash, anaphylactic infections such as bronchial spasms or even seizures.
Certain drugs like Amoxil, Trimox belonging to the amoxicillin and tetracycline group can disrupt the beneficial bacteria in the intestine. As a result, there occurs certain intestinal disorder like flatulence, diarrhoea and swelling of the abdomen. If left untreated, these disorders can give rise to fatal diseases like colon cancer or stomach ulcers. Interruptions in the normal functioning of the intestinal bacteria can lead to the outbreak of fungal and yeast infection in your bowel resulting in ailments like intestinal candidiasis which occurs due to the low immunity system of our body. Over consumption of drugs like tetracycline and the sulphonamides disturbs the functioning of the white blood cells which combats bacteria. Some antibiotic drugs hinder the growth of antibody. They can also enhance the possibility of infections.
Arbitrary application of certain drugs like Cholraxin, Fencol belonging to the Chloramphenicol group reduces the white blood cell counts and thus reduces the possibility of combating bacteria. A number of deaths have been reported in the West as a result of which North America and Europe have withdrawn this drug from the market.
Tetracyclines like Terramycin, Vibramycin, and Dynacin belonging to the doxycycline, oxytetracycline and minocycline group can destroy the developing bones and teeth of a foetus. They react to the calcium phosphate which enables the bones and teeth to soak up the drugs. These drugs also upset the absorption of B Vitamins in the bowel. They can raise blood pressure and often cause diarrhoea. Streptomycin, neomycin, amikacin etc can lead to damaging of the auditory nerve resulting in deafness. They have kidney damaging capacities and can lead to the outbreak of skin rashes.
Sulphonamide group of drugs which include Terfonyl can lead to the outbreak of allergies, fever, rashes, hepatitis, and anaemia and also decrease the white blood cell count. It can also lead to the formation of crystals in urine. Ailments like diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis along with minor disturbances like nausea, headache, depression and vomiting can occur.
In some cases, taking antibiotic medicines become mandatory, but what we can do to stop the overuse of antibiotics is put a stop of self-medication habits. It is advisable to change our lifestyle for the better so that we have a strong and developed immune system and we can resist minor ailments. It must be remembered that antibiotics should not be our first option when it comes to treatments. If all else fails, then only we should take antibiotics. Going by this measure, we can avert a number of health hazards associated with consuming antibiotics.
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