What are antibiotics, anyway
“Antibiotics do only one thing: they kill bacteria,” says Linda Yancey, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston. These antibiotics kill certain bacteria that are made to kill by different physiological mechanisms. For example, nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) is an antibiotic commonly used for urinary tract infections because it targets bacteria in and around the urinary tract.
Dr. Yancey points out that researchers have been planning dosage amounts and programs for years to make them effective. There is a reason for every number you see on this transparent orange bottle. Medications take time to destroy the bacteria in your body. Do not finish the course of the pills prescribed to you simply because you feel better or your symptoms have subsided is not good for your overall health.
How they affect your health
When you take a very short antibacterial course, it can have two effects. First, it is possible that your infection will not go away completely – even if you start to feel better. If you take enough of your antibiotics to reduce, say, 70 percent of the bacteria in your body, for sure, your symptoms may go away. But the remaining 30 percent of bacteria can grow in a few days or weeks, explains Dr. Yancey.
Not only can they reproduce – but bacteria can also change and like all living things, they can become more resilient to survive. If you’re introducing a specific antibiotic into your system to fight these invaders – you want to kill them completely, says Dr. Yancey. Injecting a drug into your system to kill only part of the infection can actually give the bacteria a chance to reproduce in a way that the drug can fight. This means that the infection may become resistant to your medicine and be harder to kill when you start a medicine again.
What are the biggest image effects?
Believe it or not, this also has wider public health concerns. When contagious infections develop as a result of incomplete medication or ineffective treatment (which is also the case), they can spread. From a public health point of view, this is dangerous. You do not want an intruder to become stronger, more contagious, and more resistant to the treatment that is supposed to kill him. Thus diseases become stronger and more difficult to treat on a broader, social level.
The best way to fight it and protect yourself from antibiotic resistance is to follow your provider’s instructions and check the details in your medication instructions if you forget. And, as Dr. Yancey points out, make sure you remember to continue taking your medication even after you start to feel better.
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