I believe we have all learned so much from this blog project. What I have learned is that antibiotics aren’t the magic medicine. Also I’ve learned to always finish my medicine. I’m the type of person that always goes to the doctor if they get sick. I have been prescribed all types of medicine, and I have some of almost every kind still in my kitchen pantry. That is because whenever I start to feel better, I usually don’t finish taking the medicine. From now on I will be a better patient and try to spread the word to others.
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Ever since I was in middle school, I have been getting strep throat yearly, and my doctor gives me antibiotics. Usually in a few days, my throat feels much better and I feel as if I do not need the medication that is prescribed anymore. So, usually, I would stop taking them towards the end. Then when I would go for my check-up, my doctor explained to me why I should ALWAYS finish the antibiotics. Through this blog, I have learned a lot about antibiotic resistance and misuse and will definitely make people aware of this whenever I can.
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By being aware of Antibiotic Resistance with this blog, I have really learned a lot about antibiotics. I remember the one time I had an ear infection and I was in a mess. I went to the doctor and they had given me some antibiotics. I began to take the antibiotics right away. I remember after a couple of days I began to feel better. My ear was not hurting and I felt good. So I thought to myself, “Why don’t I just stop taking these antibiotics now, I feel all better now.” I told my parents that I will stop the antibiotics because I feel better now. I can never forget what they told me. They said, “No, do not stop taking the antibiotics because there will be still some bugs left in there if you don’t finish the bottle.” It doesn’t matter if you feel better, because not all of the microbes will die and then they will become resistant to the antibiotics if you have another infection.” It wasn’t until then that I really realized that taking antibiotcs was a big deal, and bigger than that was the fact that the infectious agent could become resistant YIKES! Well I have learned soo much and I will continue to make people become aware of antibiotic usage.
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*note* This is meant to be a sarcastic image, please do not have fun with medicine!
I know we all have times when eating candy like M&Ms turns from eating just one to eating way too many, this happens to me all the time because as my blog buddies know M&Ms are my favorite. So why am I bringing this up? Well because I’ve realized that often people do the same exact thing but with medicines and especially antibiotics! Some of us are guilty of over medicating through over the counter treatments and others run to the doctor and ask for antibiotics when they are not necessary. I know the common cold and flu can make anyone feel awful and that medicines may seem like the quick fix, however through better understanding of when and why to take antibiotics we can actually stop the spread of resistant bacteria. I hope this blog has brought a clearer picture on this issue as the spread of resistant bacteria requires the need for stronger and stronger antibiotics, increasing the number of patients admitted to hospitals with infections. I know it has taught me to not only be careful when it comes to myself but also to be careful when it comes to patients now and for the future. As a medical assistant I am often in charge of authorizing prescription refills for pharmacies to fill a patient’s medicine. At least once a day I receive a refill request for Amoxicillin or Z-pack (2 commonly prescribed antibiotics) and we may not have even seen the patient in the office. In this situation I always go to the Doctor to see what he wants to do, however I’ve learned to take more pro-active steps after learning so much about this issue. I know now that many patients are not aware of the danger in taking antibiotics so frequently and need to be educated through patient teaching. I know that patients sometimes don’t want to call and let health care providers know what their symptoms are because sometimes they may feel that they can get a quicker response if they just ask for the medicine. In future situations I believe patient teaching is necessary and taking the time to call the patients myself, asking for their symptoms or asking for them to come in for an office visit may make a difference in decreasing the spread of resistant bacteria. As a future nurse I believe active steps like these will help with patient teaching skills and also make me a better nurse. I wanted to thank all my group members for their hard work and everyone who has commented, hopefully together we can increase awareness and stop the spread of resistance through the misuse of antibiotics.
Remember antibiotics are not candy so be safe!
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Penicillin, the most widely known antibiotic that is used today, was first discovered in 1896 by a French medical student named Ernest Duchesne; however, the vast use of this antibiotic came about after the Scottish doctor Alexander Fleming rediscovered it in1928. After its rediscovery, pharmaceutical companies began mass-producing and selling this drug, and only four years later, bacteria were found that began resisting these antibiotics. Michael Blum, a medical officer for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), says that antibiotic resistance occurred because, “There was complacency in the 1980s. The perception was that we had licked the bacterial infection problem. Drug companies weren’t working on new agents. They were working on other areas, such as viral infections…In the mean time, resistance increased to a number of commonly used antibiotics, possibly related to overuse of antibiotics. In the 1990s, we’ve come to a point for certain infections that we don’t have agents available.” The rise of antibiotic-resistance is happening because of the evolution, as mentioned below. Although it is inevitable, scientists are doing as much as they can to figure how to solve this dilemma. The most important thing we can do now is: improve infection control, create new antibiotics, and use these medications more appropriately.
Read more about the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections, how antibiotic resistance occurs, and our “Greatest Fear” here.
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Scientists believed that medicine had removed all of infectious agents due to antibiotics. Looking over the past twenty years this philosophy changed with the addition of discoveries of new infectious diseases. AIDS, malaria, and other infectious diseases are of the deadliest diseases to mankind. The rise of infectious diseases is an issue that people themselves have created. Frugal international travel rates have let diseases enter from all over the country. Another cause of these infectious diseases is due to the water containing filth and bacteria. Going on, when antibiotics do work on killing the microorganisms, there are still a few of them that are alive. With this, too much antibiotics will allow the microorganism to become resistant to it. Antibiotics are evolving and patients and doctors are trying to alleviate the use of antibiotics because of the chance of antibiotics becoming resistant by the overuse of antibiotics. Our body will take its course on fighting against deadly infectious disease so we don’t always need to rely on antibiotics for every microorganism. People need to start taking into account that antibiotics are not really the miracle drugs because of their evolution of limited power to kill all microorganisms. Instead, if people let their bodies handle the infectious agents for the slightest cold they will learn that antibiotic resistance will lose its extreme power and antibiotics will win the war every time. For more information: please visit
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The misuse of antibiotics not only happens when patients abuse their prescription medications, but it can also happen by mistake of the physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician’s assistants who prescribe these drugs. An example of the dangers of medicines prescribed by doctors can be seen through the story of my grandfather.
Many years ago in India, my grandfather owned acres of land where he grew crops like sugar cane and rice. As he was walking through the field one day, he tripped and injured his knee. Instead of seeing his regular doctor, he decided he would save time and show the local doctor in the neighborhood, which turned out to be a very bad idea. The doctor took a look at his knee and prescribed a medicine and said it would heal the injury; however, the pain began to increase, so my grandfather went back to the physician to let him know. The doctor then said an injection would be needed, so he gave a shot of antibiotics to heal the injury. This shot was too much for my grandfather to handle, and caused toxicity in his body; the doctor had overdosed the medicine without even realizing it. As my grandfather went back home, his family members noticed that he was acting strange and was much more hyper than usual. A few hours later, he began bleeding at the mouth, became unconscious, and eventually, the drug poisoning had taken my grandfather’s life away.
This shows the importance that physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants hold when prescribing medications to their patients and how careful they have to be; one too many prescriptions could cause very serious damage, and even death. Hopefully, the medical field has improved throughout the years in India and all over the world, and doctors realize that they should not make rash decisions without thinking their thoughts through. Medications are misused every day, but with the proper education and learning, both prescribers and patients should take precautions to prevent themselves and others from danger.
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