Effects of Prolong use of Antibiotics
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Prolong use of antibiotics also referred to as chronic use of antibiotics, is the use of antibiotics for a long period of time or frequent use of antibiotics. First of all, it should be noted that any potentially effective drug has possible side effects. In fact, no medication, whether it is by prescription or available over the counter, should be utilized without some consideration of the potential for toxic effects. Antibiotics, even used for short periods of time, let alone for life-long therapy, raise the issues of both toxicity and the emergence of bacterial antibiotic resistance. (Bacterial antibiotic resistance means that the bacteria do not respond to the antibiotic treatment).
Antibiotics are chemicals that have the ability to inhibit the growth of microorganisms, especially bacteria, and are either produced naturally by other microorganisms or synthetically in a laboratory. Although antibiotics are commonly prescribed for 7 to 14 days to treat most illnesses, long-term use may be necessary to treat certain chronic infections. Prolonged use of antibiotics can have several side effects, so it is important for both the doctor and patient to weigh the pros and cons of prolonged antibiotic use.
In reality, inappropriately used antibiotics will do nothing except place the patient at an unnecessary risk for potential side effects. In addition, too much use of an antibiotic can cause bacteria to become increasingly antibiotic resistant. Consequently, the resistant bacteria will not respond to the antibiotic in the future when this therapy may truly be needed. Thus, antibiotics should be used sparingly and with caution in all situations. If a physician tells a person that an antibiotic is unlikely to be helpful, it is in that person’s best interest to not take the antibiotic. However, a study published the January 2008 edition of “Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety” states that long-term use of amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin and doxycycline appears safe without increased adverse reactions. But these antibiotics are not useful in treating all types of infections.
The three most common effects of prolong use of antibiotics include:
1. Developing of resistance to antibiotics by microorganisms – The commonly known problem is that as the use of antibiotics becomes more and more widespread, the bacteria become more and more resistant. This is especially common when people quit their antibiotics prescription halfway through because they “feel fine”; some of the surviving bacteria then mutate into more resistant strains and spread into other people. Antibiotics resistance is a serious global and public challenge because of the difficulty posed in the treatment of common illness that are formally handle by the antimicrobial agent.
2. Eradication of the normal flora- Several surface tissues, such as skin and mucous membrane, as well as certain internal organs such as the intestines, are colonized with large amounts of microorganisms, predominantly bacteria and yeasts. These microorganisms are part of the normal flora. However, excessive and prolonged use of antibiotics, especially broad spectrum antibiotics which act against several different types of bacteria, can lead to eradication of the normal flora from their habitats.
3. Physiological adverse effects- Both long-term and short-term use of antibiotics can lead to several changes in the body. Although most allergic reactions such as skin rash and swelling of the face appear within first 48 hours of the antibiotic use, other changes–such as lack of appetite, nausea and mild diarrhea–can last for a long time, so prolonged use of antibiotics can be very distressing to the patient.
While antibiotics certainly have their uses, taking them when unnecessary can be harmful in many ways which include increased resistance to antibiotics, diarrhea and digestive problems, reduction in beneficial phytoestrogens, impaired immunity, especially in children and the critically ill and long-term changes in gut microflora. Since antibiotics, by definition, are substances or compounds that kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria, it’s good to keep two things in mind. First, antibiotics destroy not only bad bacteria but also good ones. Second, antibiotics are only effective against bacteria, not viruses. So before getting antibiotics for an infection, make sure it really is a bacterial and not a viral infection (the common cold, for example, is a viral infection). Most importantly ask your pharmacists about information on any kinds of drugs. He is an expert of drugs and drug related use. Avoid self medication.
Copyright 2017 The Page. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.thepageng.com as the source.