Our immune system normally fights disease causing bacteria. But sometimes, it is unable to work fast enough against the attack by certain bacteria. In such circumstances, it needs help by destroying the sickness causing bacteria directly, and antibiotics are used in such cases. There are different antibiotics which work differently against the bacterial activities. The antibiotics need to be chosen carefully based on the specific situation.
A more severe consequence of indiscriminate use of antibiotics is the development of antibiotic resistance. It is the ability of a bacteria to withstand the effects of an antibiotic. Resistant bacteria are more difficult to treat, requiring alternative medications or higher doses of antibiotics. There are many causes to the antibiotic resistance. The major ones are:
- Heavy reliance on common broad-spectrum antibiotics to treat all forms of illness.
- Over-prescription of antibiotic drugs
- Prescribed dosage of antibiotic is insufficient.
- Patient does not consume the antibiotics as prescribed. (Stopping the intake when feeling better, and not completing the prescribed course).
- Consumption of meat and poultry where the animals are fed antibiotics.
- Self-prescribed intake of antibiotics without right evaluation.