What Is Antibiotic Resistance and Implications - Must-remember Points
Created by Dr Deepak Solanki Updated on Sep 21, 2021
Every now and then we hear about children being ill and often being given antibiotics, sometimes even just for a simple cough or cold. There is a rhyme and a reason when and for what illness these drugs are to be given (so called "indications") and it's the domain of the respective specialist doctor to decide so. Example -a pediatrician in case of children.
The body rather than trying to fight the infection on its own gets dependant on the antibiotic to do this job (as the immunity gets weakened due to frequent antibiotic intake).Not only children but adults too succumb to this habit of over the counter antibiotic consumption for whatever illness they have. This frequent antibiotic consumption might not have an immediate implication but it surely does have one in the long run.
Being an intensivist (doctor who manages patients in ICU) myself ,I often come across a lot of patients (of all age groups) having history of variable antibiotics intake over a course of time and that too incomplete antibiotic schedules and inadequate dosing regimes.
Implications of Antibiotic Resistance in Body
This all adds up to the antibiotic resistance in the body which has severe implications:-
- The antibiotic which was effective initially for a particular infection would now be ineffective for the same .
- Escalation to a higher group of antibiotics would mean further antibiotic exposure and increased cost to the patient (in majority of cases)
- If there is a widespread infection or sepsis in the body ,most of antibiotics would be ineffective for the same and sometimes there are none which show effectiveness against the primary organism.
Thus it becomes very important to remember the following points :
- Defer antibiotic usage unless specifically indicated.
- Whenever antibiotics are prescribed ,take the full course and adequate dose for the same.
- Try not to switch different classes of antibiotics for the same infection unless your doctor tells you to.
- Last but not the least, take antibiotics on basis of a Doctor's advice only (preferably a specialist) and not on basis of diagnosis made by one's nearby chemist guy.
What we see now it's just the tip of this iceberg but if things go on the same track,it won't be long when the whole iceberg would be standing in front of us.
| Oct 01, 2015
Thank you for this useful piece of information Dr. Solanki. This issue is something that need attention urgently. My father has been a medicine wholesaler for years now and has also become a doctor by practicing self medication. We were given antibiotics as children for every little illness, from a simple flu to severe infections. I now know better and make sure my children are not unnecessarily given medications and am also trying to change my fathers habit. Maybe I should make him read this article :)
| Oct 07, 2015
But these days, doctors themselves are prescribing antibiotics to treat every other illness, that too high doses, even for kids. This they do to retain patients, since the patients get a satisfaction that this doctor effectively treats and the illness is gone. Very few doctors, really gauge the situation well and try not to prescribe antibiotics unless it is very much needed. This is out of my personal experience with at least 7 different doctors and specialists.
| Oct 09, 2015
Mahalaxmi, the thing u mentioned does happen(sadly) and it's got to do both with patients ( who feel disappointed / incompletely examined till a few blood tests /scans /antibiotics are not prescribed ) as well as some doctors who do this for retaining patients. That's why one should have full faith in his /her specialist and discuss pros and cons of any given antibiotic prescribed prior to consuming them.
| Oct 16, 2015
Hi geeta ,ask your doctor about the medicine he/she is prescribing whether it is antibiotic or not ,along with effects/side effects of the same .you can also search the name of medicine with associated details on websites like www. drugs. com and similar ones. Hi annjacquelinesoares, panadol is paracetamol , analgesic and antipyretic .might help in relieving fever and associated headache/throat ache in case of cold /cough.