Using Antibiotics



First lets start with a short historical overview. Penicillin is the first-high profile antibiotic, discovered by Nobel laureate Alexander Fleming in 1928. As a great medical breakthrough, it was produced widely during the Second World War. Now penicillin belongs to a large group of antibiotics commonly prescribed to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics are prescribed to kill and suppress further growth of susceptible bacteria.

It is crucial to remember that antibiotics are not effective treatment for fighting viruses or fungal infections. For such diseases there are special antiviral medications. Antibiotics should only be taken as prescribed for bacterial infections. Unfortunately antibiotic overuse which has become a common thing today, creates drug resistance.

However the situation can be improved and here are the main recommendations: Never save unused antibiotics for later use or take antibiotics which were prescribed for somebody else. Antibiotics misuse causes serious consequences.

Remember: antibiotics won’t help against non-bacterial infections like cold or flu (both caused by viruses).

It is strongly recommended always to finish the antibiotic treatment even if the patient feels better in a few days after starting the cure. If just some fractions of the bacteria will be affected (enough to make the patient feels better), the patient may still be able to spread the surviving, more resistant bacteria.

Frequent hand-washing among medical staff and people in general is obligatory.

Diagnosing new MRSA infection quickly. MRSA is a bacterial infection that is highly resistant to some antibiotics. Therefore it is extremely hard to treat. So after detecting MRSA infection, the patient must be immediately isolated so that he does not come in contact with other susceptible patients. To isolate the infected patient, the hospital needs just empty bed in a private room. Unfortunately, this practice is common in some hospitals in some parts of the world, but by far not everywhere.

In 2006 the European Union banned routine use of antibiotics in livestock feeding because of evidence about its drug-resistance consequences for humans. Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends to take the same measures for the same reason. Use antibiotics wisely as there is no better substitution discovered so far.