Words from the Doc': Antibiotics in danger, our health will pay


Antibiotics are powerful drugs that have revolutionized medicine by effectively treating bacterial infections, saving millions of lives. However, their excessive and inappropriate use is a growing problem worldwide for humans and ecology. With 700000 deaths per year due to resistant bacteria, the scientific community  considers that the overuse of antibiotics, combined with the slowdown in the discovery of new molecules, will probably be one of the major challenges for the healthcare sector in the 21rd century.

We all have leftover antibiotics in the cupboards, we keep them just in case: until the next urinary tract infection, the next angina of the little one. Except that the remains of platelets expire, end up in the trash or the quantity is not enough, we take two or three and it does not work.

Remember that in the majority of cases, common infections (angina, colds, gastroenteritis, bronchitis  etc…) are caused by viruses. And viruses have no use for antibiotics!

And even if there is a bacterium to be eradicated, you need the right antibiotic, at the right dosage, for the right bacterium, in the right organ and for the right duration. All antibiotics do not have the same effectiveness and do not target the same things and above all the choice between antibiotics is not unlimited.

The risks of (multi)resistance.

Antibiotic resistance is considered one of the biggest threats to global health. It compromises the effectiveness of medical treatments, prolongs the duration of illnesses and leads to increased complications and healthcare costs. One of the most worrying risks of antibiotic abuse is the development of one or more resistances (through genetic mutations) that render them immune to the effects of the antibiotic and are much more difficult to treat, if not impossible in certain cases. The excessive use of antibiotics also disrupts the good bacteria present in our body such as the digestive system or the vagina. When these good bacteria are destroyed, it disrupts the natural balance of our microbiota, which has consequences for our health: diarrhea, fungal infections, pain, immune decline. Antibiotics are not harmless and can cause serious side effects like allergic reactions. It is important to understand that antibiotics are not always the answer and their use should be based on a proper assessment of the situation by a healthcare professional.

Overall impact on biodiversity

The abuse of antibiotics is not only limited to our health, they have an impact on the environment. It is estimated that the consumption of antibiotics in the world is 100 to 000 tons per year. The worldwide consumption of antibiotics for the sole benefit of humans increased by 200% between 000 and 36, similarly increasing antibiotics in the environment because approximately 2000-2010% of the antibiotics consumed are directly excreted by our bodies into the systems of waste water disposal or discarded in trash cans.

This soil and water contamination can have a negative impact on fauna and flora and will create resistance in ecosystems, a factor in new resistant epidemics.

The fight against the misuse of antibiotics is a major challenge for our global health. It is crucial to understand that these drugs must be used responsibly, in accordance with the recommendations of health professionals who must also question the prescriptions.

Avoiding self-medication, completing prescribed treatment cycles, returning leftover medications to pharmacies, and raising public awareness of the importance of proper use of antibiotics are all essential measures to preserve the effectiveness of these precious medical resources and protect our long-term health. _FS

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