How to fight antibiotic resistance
by Karen Rollins Jan 22, 2018
Scientists are increasingly worried about the overuse of antibiotics and how this is leading to increased resistance which could have serious consequences.
Antibiotics are used for all kinds of infections, and it’s this prevalence which concerns medical professionals, because if our bodies become used to these drugs it could become much harder to treat many common infections, such as chest, urine or skin infections.
What’s the problem?
The overuse of antibiotics is a growing global health issue, because as they become less effective so-called ‘superbugs’ which have developed resistance to many different types of antibiotics, start to emerge.
‘Superbugs’, such as MRSA and C.diff, can lead to disability and death as doctors battle to find ways to treat them effectively.
What can you do?
We can help ourselves by limiting our antibiotic use and encouraging our body to heal itself when necessary.
Many common infections, such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets, are often viral infections that will go away after a short period without treatment. These infections don’t need antibiotics as they are not bacterial and will not respond.
If your symptoms persist and you’re prescribed antibiotics, make sure you take the full course as advised, even if you feel better before you finish. This increases the chances of you getting better and also reduces the likelihood of the infection coming back and requiring stronger antibiotics, which leads to resistance.
When do you need antibiotics?
Antibiotics may be used to treat serious bacterial infections that:
- are not likely to go away without antibiotics
- carry a risk of more serious complications
- could infect others unless treated
- may take too long to clear up without antibiotics
Source: The NHS