Why antibiotics are becoming resistant

Penicillin is one of the most commonly used antibiotics medication. It is also one of the first drugs found to be effective in treating bacterial and other infections such as tonsillitis, pneumonia, urinary tract and ear infections that affect the population. It consists of medicines such as amoxicillin (amoxyl and duramox), and is particularly effective against a bacteria called gram positive.

However, sometimes, in order to increase its effectiveness, different penicillin drugs are usually taken in combination. These combinations have drugs such as augmentin (amoxicillin and clavulanic acid) ampiclox (ampicillin and cloxacillin), as well as flucamox (flucoxacillin and amoxicillin).

These combinations are supposed to offer protection against resistance, which has recently become a growing problem for antibiotics generally.
Resistance happens when a drug that is normally used to treat a particular disease or condition becomes less effective.

As a result, a person has to either increase the dose or change to another drug altogether.
This is because sometimes, when bacteria become resistant to one type of penicillin, the potential for resistance against all the other types of the same drug are high.

The biggest culprit for the growing cases of antibiotic resistance is failure to complete the recommended dose of the medication, which usually lasts five days.

In some cases, a person may choose to take their medication only twice a day, instead of the recommended three times. And when a person takes one capsule instead of two, even if they are taking the medicine three times a day for five days, it is considered an under dose. Such practices can subsequently lead to resistance.

Self-prescription or medication is also a worrying practice, where people take antibiotics for every infection they suffer, regardless of whether they need it or not. This increases the infectiveness of the drug, leading to resistance.

People taking antibiotics should, therefore, ensure they are taking the medication for the right purpose and in the recommended dose.

The writer is a pharmacist

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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