What happens if you stop taking antibiotics before the specified time?

this antibiotic They are essential medicines for health. Its discovery extended human life expectancy as it became a weapon against bacteria.

With them, infections caused by bacteria can be successfully treated and the spread of the disease can be prevented. Plus, they may reduce serious complications of the disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

But some antibiotics that were once the standard treatment for bacterial infections are no longer effective because certain bacterial strains are becoming less effective. develop resistance to these drugs.

Also read: (Antibiotics: These are the health challenges of self-medication)

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This has drawn widespread attention from organizations such as the World Health Organization, which warn of the misuse of antibiotics and the dire consequences it can have worldwide.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, About a third of antibiotic use is neither necessary nor appropriate.

For example, some people self-prescribe antibiotics to treat infections caused by viruses, such as the flu or sore throat, and this is a bad decision.

According to the above portal, other common viral infections that do not respond to taking antibiotics are as follows:

– cold or runny nose

– Influenza (influenza)

– Bronchitis

– Most types of cough

– some ear infections

– Some sinus infections

– Acute gastroenteritis

-Coronavirus disease

See here: (Amoxicillin: What are the side effects of this antibiotic?)

Why you shouldn’t stop taking antibiotics even if you feel fine

Although we often stop treatment as soon as we feel better, it is important to complete treatment and follow the intake times directed by your health professional.

Only in this way can the bacteria that cause the disease be completely eliminated.

If you do not take antibiotics as prescribed, you may need to restart treatment later.

If you stop taking it, it may promote the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Each germ has an antibiotic, route of administration and schedule, explained Luis Pampa, infectious disease physician at the National Institute of Health (INS) of the Peruvian Ministry of Health.

“As long as the antibiotic is in the body in sufficient concentration and for sufficient time, it will do its job. Its function is to kill or inhibit the reproduction of bacteria and give the immune system time to block or eventually neutralize the invading material,” he said.

Likewise, bacterial resistance to drugs of abuse can develop into serious clinical forms such as sepsis, septic shock and multiorgan failure, he said, until death happens.

Therefore, infection specialists advise to adhere to the prescribed dosage and duration and not try to stop the treatment when you feel better.

You may be interested in: (Misuse of Antibiotics Affects Intestinal Inflammation in Children)

According to the Think Health portal, this happens because the “principle of action is based on attacking the disease process, destroying the structure of the bacteria or its ability to reproduce. But interrupting antibiotic treatment before it is recommended by doctors” creates more resistance bacteria”.

If all microbes causing the infection are not eradicated, antibiotic survivors will multiply and share this new resistance signature with other microbes.

“Resistance mechanisms are passed not only to their clones or progeny, but also to neighboring bacteria, which means that resistance developed by one bacterium can be exploited by other bacteria around that bacterium,” said the infectious disease scientist Carlos Álvarez, member of the Colombian Association of Infectious Diseases (Acin), explained to EL TIEMPO.

As a result, the drug loses its potency and the infection persists in the body, increasing the risk of spreading it to others.

Added above for clarity Increasing antibiotic doses does not improve disease faster, which increases the risk of side effects. “Increasing drug doses can be toxic and have adverse effects on your body,” explains Health Portfolio.

If symptoms of infection persist, do not prolong the use of antibiotics, it is best to consult a doctor.

Risks of Antibiotics

The main collateral damage of taking antibiotics in the absence of such an infection is: Bacteria develop resistance mechanism For these medicines, this means they will no longer work when you need them.

“If you take antibiotics for an infection that’s not caused by bacteria, such as a viral infection, all you’re going to do is develop resistance without any benefit,” Alvarez noted.

He added that resistance is not only created by the bacteria that we live with, but “in turn, when we interact with other people, we can facilitate the spread of these bacteria, which can lead to resistance in another person.” Bacteria.” Even if you’re not taking antibiotics. ”

The main suggestion is take antibiotic medicines only if prescribed by your doctor, Considering that facing the symptoms of any disease, you should see a specialist and not self-medicate in any case.

Therefore, it must be remembered that self-treatment with antibiotics may pose a risk to your health: taking antibiotics at unnecessary times may cause greater complications in the treatment of the disease in the future.

Laura Alejandra Albarracin Restrepo

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