Last updated date: 16-Jul-2021

Originally Written in English

When is antibiotic needed?

    Unnecessary use of antibiotics boosts the antibiotic resistance, while the options of effective antibiotics also decrease. Do not use antibiotics unless your physician recommends so.

    Do not use antibiotic unless it is necessary

    Antibiotics are the most important weapon that is aimed by human beings to the microorganisms for almost a century. Unfortunately, the number of effective antibiotics has been gradually decreasing due to the antibiotic resistance secondary to the misuse. The fact that treatment choices will gradually reduce in near future causes a global concern. The most common mistake about antibiotics is the use of them as antipyretic or painkillers. Infectious diseases are among the most common reasons of population-wide hospital admissions regardless of age or gender. Accordingly, accurate and appropriate treatment of diseases is a matter of public importance. Today, recovery from infectious diseases is achieved with certain substances, called antimicrobial agents, which kill or prevent growth of microbes such as fungi, bacteria and parasites. Certain synthetic materials such as disinfectants also fall into this group among which antibiotics have an important place. However, antimicrobial therapy should be used at appropriate doses to achieve the intended results such as survival, prevention of complications and chronic course, minimal severity and shortened duration of the disease.

    Irrational use of antimicrobial therapies causes failure to manage the infections or even, the patient may die. Moreover, each antimicrobial therapy that is used unnecessarily places a considerable burden on the country‘s economy.


    Antibiotics are useful for bacterial infections

    Optimal use of antibiotics means administering the correct antibiotic via the most accurate route, at effective dose, at optimum intervals for appropriate period. Moreover, inaccurate use of antibiotics implies that the antibiotic is used despite absence of any infection, wrong antibiotic is preferred, the dose is insufficient or above the recommended one and the dose intervals are improper.

    Antibiotics are effective solely against bacterial infections. However, the most common mistake is the use of antibiotics for the common cold and viral infections. The major fact is that antibiotics are not a solution for infections caused by viruses and they do not eliminate the risk of contagion to other people.


    The misuse leads to resistance

    Misused antibiotics are not only ineffective for the treatment, but they also cause a far challenging problem. Antimicrobial resistance. In other words, the drug becomes ineffective that is used to treat the infection caused by the microorganism. As a result, the antibiotic agent does not help the recovery, when it is needed in the future. As even a mild infection cannot be managed, the condition leads to very serious problems. This condition is a threat not only for the individual, who uses the antibiotic, but also for the entire population who are at risk for being infected by a resistant bacterium. The more antibiotic resistance increases, the more the number of effective antibiotics reduces. It is likely that the therapeutically effective antibiotic options will gradually decrease in the near future.


    Antibiotics should not be used, if not prescribed by a doctor

    Another population-wide mistake is the use of antibiotics to manage fever (antipyretic) or pain (pain killers). Therefore, antibiotics should not be used unless they are prescribed by physicians and the person should even question whether the antibiotic is necessary or not. Moreover, people should not insist for prescription of antibiotics. It should be remembered that antibiotics do not have any effect in respiratory tract infections caused by viruses such as influenza or cold and the individuals should not stop the treatment before the date specified by the physician even if they feel good. Rational use of antibiotics is both individual and social responsibility.