10 Surprising Facts about Antibiotics

“Antibiotics”, the most popular word from the scientific world of health and medicine jargon. Everybody everywhere is familiar with it. But there are some facts you may not know about the all-loved antibiotics and here’s a quick guide to 10 lesser known facts about antibiotics.

  1. They cannot distinguish between the good and bad bacteria. Yes, you heard it right! Antibiotics are given to treat any bacterial infection by killing the microorganism but, it does not come with a brain of its own. And a continued intake of antibiotics can disrupt the balance.
  2. They may disrupt the intestinal metabolism. While entering the gastrointestinal tract, they tend to destroy the beneficial bacteria thereby disrupting the balance creating a condition called dysbiosis.
  3. The bacteria can become resistant to them.
  4. They cannot cure viral infections as they work only against bacteria and nothing else, which means it is not for common cold or flu.
  5. Antibiotic resistance is a thing. Any antibiotic taken can cause resistance. It is caused by bacterial resistance to antibiotics which is the result of changes in the bacterium’s DNA, which makes it resistant. One bacterium with a mutation can survive the antibiotic it reproduces millions more with the same resistance within a day. Antibiotic resistance is life threatening and can be caused by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics. It can create diseases that cannot be treated at all.
  6. There are bacterial infections that the antibiotics cannot treat. These infections include things like tuberculosis, skin problems, and sexually transmitted diseases.
  7. Contrary to popular belief, antibiotics are not only taken to cure the illness. Yes, in fact they are often used in food animal production and not only to treat sick animals but also as a means to offset the effects of overcrowding and poor sanitation, and to spur animal growth.
  8. Never borrow antibiotics. They are prescribed according to the type of bacteria and the borrowed one may not work properly and can be dangerous. Same goes for those kept for later use. Do not save any for later use.
  9. It takes at least 10 years and a billion dollars to develop a new drug and bring it to market.
  10. Modern medical treatments such as operations, transplants will become impossible to treat without antibiotics.
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