Antibiotics are useless against viral infections: Excessive use can cause bacterial resistance

Antibiotics are useless against viral infections: Excessive use can cause bacterial resistance

The training of doctors and patients is the key to rational use. Doctors should understand their role in protecting antibiotics and use them wisely. Patients should understand that antibiotics are not required in most trivial infections and do not require them from doctors and pharmacists.

Every year in November, a very relevant health topic is in the foreground, namely antibiotic resistance (AMR). During this month, a special week for antibiotic awareness (from 13-19 November) is being observed, raising global awareness of antibiotics. In particular, the harm to human health from over-use (AMR) is increasing worldwide.

In a rapidly antibiotic-dependent society, an increasing number of patients are heavily dependent on antibiotics, even for a minor viral infection such as cold or cough, in which they have no effect. Simple home remedies such as hot soup or coriander water or gargling and bed rest are often not your choice. Even doctors have been found guilty of prescribing antibiotics for such minor ailments, either due to ignorance or personal gain of pharmaceutical companies providing these drugs.

Granted, the benefits of antibiotics in fighting bacterial infections are impressive. However, they must be prescribed with caution and the appropriate treatment protocols must be monitored regularly by the prescribing physician.

DR ENOKA COREA, former President of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiology and a lecturer in microbiology at the University of Colombo, explains how and when antibiotics should be taken and explains easy-to-follow guidelines that should be followed when taking them.

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