The misuse of antibiotics is becoming a major problem in America today. We hear about many drug-related cases happening almost every day, like people being hospitalized for overdosing on their prescription (or even over-the-counter) drugs, and people taking prescriptions for the wrong reasons. Some people who do not know that antibiotics are only used for bacterial infections may be taking these drugs for a viral infection they have caught, which will do them no good, and may even cause harm. Prescription antibiotics can also be misused by mistake of doctors or nurse practitioners who may accidentally prescribe a patient too many different antibiotics if they are not careful. The misuse of these drugs can have many negative consequences; taking too many antibiotics could get rid of good bacteria that are needed for our body, which could make us more susceptible to other diseases. The Food & Drug Administration’s Barbara Moulton says, “Antibiotics may actually delay recovery in cases of the common cold, influenza, polio, mumps, and herpangina…so they should be used where there is a clear and positive need for them.”
Antibiotics should be taken with precaution; as my Pharmacology professor says, “[pharmaceutical] drugs are poisons with therapeutic side effects.” Although there are many good uses for them, they could become deadly when taken in the wrong amounts.
For more information on the misuse of antibiotics, read this article from TIME about the “undesirable side effects resulting from treatment with antibiotics.”