The antibiotic course


> We all have been through this at some point. We’ve not been feeling well for a couple of days so we decide to take the opinion of a physician. A diagnosis, some tests and the conclusion, it’s an infection that’s troubling us. The most obvious thing next is the doctor writing a course of antibiotic medication, to tackle the infection.

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> We all know how this works, but how many of us actually complete the prescribed course of antibiotics? We start feeling better after a few days because most simple bacteria illness respond quickly to antibiotics, and then we either forget our medication or ignore it, thinking we don’t need it any more. Big mistake!!! And this is why…

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> In order to completely kill an infection, one has to ensure that all the bacteria causing the infection are killed. If we do not complete the antibiotic course, the bacteria survive and might grow in another location in your body, which can be quite dangerous.

> When we stop taking the antibiotics before the prescribed time, the bacteria continue to grow rapidly and soon start aggravating the symptoms again.
> When we are on antibiotics, there is a fight between the effect of the drug and our immune system, so the longer the bacteria survives, the more likely they are to become resistant to drugs.
> Under-treating the bacteria are an efficient way of making them resistant. This can be done by killing the bacteria rapidly. When bacteria multiply, they change their DNA thus making them resistant to antibiotics.

> Sometimes, some strains of bacteria behave in a peculiar manner, doing things they usually don’t. For example, a strep throat sometimes suddenly leads to rheumatic fever. This is because Group A Streptococcus bacteria which causes strep throat in the first place, is left untreated when we stop the antibiotics before we are supposed to, and this increases the chances of further infection.

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> To avoid forgetting or skipping a dose of antibiotic, you can:
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> Carry your medication in small, portable bottles or strips so that you that you don’t miss them
> Mark the days and timings of your antibiotics on a calendar and place it at a suitable place at your home or work-place.
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> Now you know why you sometimes have a relapse even when you think that you have recovered from an infection completely. And now you know why physicians prescribe you a complete course of antibiotics, instead of just a tablet or two.

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> And the moral of this story? Never avoid the prescribed course of antibiotics.

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