Overuse of antibiotics

timer Asked: Dec 10th, 2017
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The overuse of antibiotics is a topic that is being currently being put at the forefront of medical discussions. I recently participated in a presentation in regards to this matter and had the opportunity to research this a bit. Although we know that the use of antibiotics is good, we see that the overuse can have detrimental effects on our health as a whole. For example, our digestive system contains trillions of bacteria, some are good, some are bad, but they all help maintain a balance of our intestines. According to Krans (2014), an aggressive course of antibiotics prescribed “can wipe out as many good gut bacteria while leaving those immune to flourish.” Because of this overgrowth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the overuse of antibiotics has made us more prone to strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as c. diff and now the Centers for Disease Control are studying a new strain of gonorrhea that resists antibiotic treatment.

I believe that more education about the proper use of antibiotics should be conducted to provide medical professionals with an opportunity to see the damage that overuse of antibiotics can have on medicine as a whole. In a healthcare world that is driven by electronic health records, antibiotic alerts can be a tool if the medical provider is prescribing antibiotics for something that does not require them such as the standard cold. Also, perhaps implementing peer reviews focused on antibiotic prescriptions could be helpful as a way to educate themselves about the overuse of antibiotics. The overuse of antibiotics is causing harm; therefore regulations should be put in place. There needs to be a system set in place to assist medical professionals in making the right decisions before prescribing antibiotics. Hospitals need to have someone that is in charge of leading the way in their respective hospitals. We have institutions such as the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC taking a stand on this issue, but an independent commission can be beneficial to drive the focus and create more consciousness and education about the subject. This institution can be responsible for managing a phone line that anyone that prescribes antibiotics can call if they have questions before prescribing antibiotics.

Knowing what I know about the issue, I would not fill the prescriptions for antibiotics for a mild head-cold just because antibiotics do not treat viruses, which are the cause of the common cold. I do not believe the slight relief they provide, if any, is worth the damage it would cause to my digestive system. If I end up needing antibiotics for something that requires them, who knows if they would work at that point because we keep creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria by overusing them.


Krans, B. (2014). 5 Frightening Consequences of Overusing Antibiotics. Healthline.


Antibiotic overuse is occurring more frequently, which is resulting in being at risk for health problems that include Clostridium difficile (C. diff) and dangerous antibiotic-resistant infection (Krans, 2014). In the article, 5 Frightening Consequences of Overusing Antibiotics, Krans (2014) states recent studies have shown antibiotics prescribed to children for common upper respiratory infections are more susceptible to aggressive antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, or C. diff. Krans (2014) later states that this study also shows seventy-one percent of children who were diagnosed with C. diff were prescribed antibiotics for respiratory, ear, and nose illnesses twelve weeks prior to infection. To prevent these cases caused by over consumption of antibiotics, doctors should pay close attention to the amount being prescribed to a patient in a set amount of time. Doctors should also consider not prescribing antibiotics just because the patient or family requests them. Education needs to be taught on the differences in bacterial infections and viruses. I believe the regulation of prescribed antibiotics would be very effective in preventing internal complications in the gut and the stomach, and all doctors should practice this. It would also be helpful if pharmacists were allowed to see a diagnosis and the medication prescribed for this illness for a double-check type of system since they study drugs more in depth. If I were to be offered a prescription of antibiotics for a common head-cold, I would have to decline. For a common head-cold I would only be willing to take over the counter drugs used for common colds, which are much easier regulated and cause less severe side effects. Drugs used to colds are not to kill the virus, but they are to help ease the symptoms such as Tylenol for aches. Natural methods could also be used in this scenario such as saline washing of the nose. Also, colds are caused by viral infections and not bacterial; therefore, antibiotics would have no effect on a cold. The cold would just need to run its course.

Krans, B. (2014, March 11). 5 Unintended Consequences of Overusing Antibiotics. Retrieved December 06, 2017, from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/five-uninte...

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School: Cornell University





Overuse of Antibodies
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Discussion 1
Elaborate more on the independent commission and its relevance on remedying the overuse of










https://www.ncbi.nih.gov>articles In conjunction to this Medical professionals despite the

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