What to know

Why Antibiotics Can Be Bad For You


A recent study on the overprescription of antibiotics in Qatar has been circulating local news, here’s why taking them inappropriately can be bad for you.

A study lead by Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC), Qatar University (QU) and the Ministry of Public Health recently reported that private clinics in Qatar has been overprescribing antibiotics to people, most of whom don’t need them in the first place.

The study published in the International Journal for Infectious Diseases followed some 75,000 prescriptions over the course of a year and half, between May 2014 and December 2015. Its findings showed that about 45 percent of the 75,000 prescriptions were from viral diseases, meaning that antibiotics would have not helped the patients get better, and might actually make them worse.

This misuse of antibiotics has been a dilemma that the Hamad Medical Corp. has been trying to tackle for some time now.

The most common misuse of antibiotics is in cases involving the flu, common colds and sore throats. While it can be a lifesaver in cases of bacterial infections, they actually have no impact at all on viral infections.

For illnesses caused by viral infections, like the ones mentioned above, the only effective form of medication to take is anti-viral ones. Taking antibiotics at a time they are not needed would only promote antibiotics resistance in your body, making them less potent next time you really need them.

However, antibiotics can be, and are often, misused by people who need them. Most people start to feel better after a few pills and stop taking their antibacterial medication before the infection actually clears up. When on antibiotics, in cases where they are needed, it is very important to follow your doctor’s orders and go through with the whole course. This can sometimes be several days and even weeks.

Keep in mind that you should never take any form of medication without consulting your physician first.

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