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Antibiotics: Saviors Turned Deadly

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133 million courses of antibiotics are prescribed to non-hospitalized patients over the course of a year; about fifty percent of these are unnecessary. Antibiotics are considered a “wonder drug” because they make once fatal maladies simple inconveniences. However, the regardless manner in which doctors prescribe antibiotics is resulting in both long term and short term consequences that affect the entire human population. To correct these mistakes, doctors must understand that prescribing antibiotics without caution can create serious, widespread issues. If actions are not taken to guard against rising problems, these issues could result in countless human casualties. Antibiotics should be prescribed less frequently by doctors due to instances of general misuse, weakened immune responses in patients, and adaptations in microbes.

The lack of caution doctors use when prescribing antibiotics leads to countless cases of misuse. One-third of all patients that have been prescribed antibiotics use them with reckless abandon, and the warnings of doctors are disregarded. Failing to finish their prescription, saving leftover medication for treatment of future illnesses, or even sharing their antibiotics with a sick friend are included among the multitude of misuse instances. Often, since people look for an immediate cure to their minor colds, they request, and occasionally demand, antibiotics. Consequently, doctors feel obligated to appease their patients, but because viruses trigger colds, antibiotics have no effect. However, the bacteria normally present in the body are affected, which can lead to dangerous imbalances.

For example, a patient complains of a slight fever and cough and demands antibiotics, which have no effect. His or h...

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