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Author Topic: Antibiotics: How Long Before They Become Useless?  (Read 14428 times)

Offline memasa

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Luckily you need a prescription to buy antibiotics in my country. Why is that a good thing then? In some places people take antibiotics uselessly and too often since they don't need to get a prescription for them. Moreover, I think that antibiotics are prescribed too easily -- at least in here.
Remember that antibiotics do not work against virus diseases (flu, cold, sore throat etc.) And if you take antibiotics too often some bacteria may become antibiotic-resistant. Let's hope SA (Staphylococcus aureus) won't become resistant to all antibiotic drugs in the future.
This may seem like something out of a yellow paper, but I remember some American scientist saying somewhere that the antibiotic drugs we have now will work  for only five years. It would be nice to know what he based that estimation on.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2005 19:06:38 by memasa »


 

Offline memasa

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Offline DrN

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Re: Antibiotics: How Long Before They Become Useless?
« Reply #2 on: 06/09/2005 22:39:31 »
well, MRSA is taking shots at being the first.

he probably based it on lab observations of how many divisions it takes a population of bacterial cells to produce a few that are resistant to an antibiotic. I've no idea what this is though.
 

Offline memasa

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Re: Antibiotics: How Long Before They Become Useless?
« Reply #3 on: 07/09/2005 08:06:43 »
Resistant micro-organisms are even able to convey their peculiarity to other nonresistant ones, not to mention that germs multiply with a speed about which even rabbit would be jealous of. Take antibiotics and you'll make one germ population very happy.

From another direction, if there weren't bacteria we wouldn't exist.
« Last Edit: 07/09/2005 08:35:03 by memasa »
 

Offline rosy

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Re: Antibiotics: How Long Before They Become Useless?
« Reply #4 on: 07/09/2005 09:12:36 »
No. Take antibiotics wrong or use them wastefuly and *that* will strengthen a bacterial population.

memesa- I'm not sure if you meant to but your post implies that we shouldn't take antibiotics at all because we might make them less useful... which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If no-one's using them then what does it matter if all the world's disease-causing bacteria are antibiotic resistant, they (the antibiotics) work via different mechanisms than our immune systems use to kill bugs so they won't be strengthened against us in that sense, they just won't be knocked out by a particular [group of] antibiotics.

We don't need to stop taking antibiotics, we just need to Use Them Sensibly. Otherwise healthy people with colds need to admit they've got a virus and will just have to sit it out until it goes away rather than going whining to their doctor for drugs to make them feel like something's being done but, more important than that, we (well, the agricultural industry) need to stop using antibiotics as growth promotors to make their pigs get good'n fat quickly, because that's an important part of the problem- antibiotics that should be being kept away from bacterial populations that aren't actually killing anyone so that they can have some effect when we actually have to bring them in.

That way, maybe antibiotic resistance might develope slow enough that by the time one loses its effect, the guys in the lab have some chance of finding another one that works for a while.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and you're all smart people so you probably know this but if you're given antibiotics finish the bleedin' course, not doing so is a great way to develope resistant populations.
« Last Edit: 07/09/2005 09:14:25 by rosy »
 

Offline memasa

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Re: Antibiotics: How Long Before They Become Useless?
« Reply #5 on: 07/09/2005 16:51:40 »
What I'm trying to imply is that you should try to avoid misusing antibiotics. Take them if you need them!

Because doctors and their patients are so busy these days it might happen that doctors prescribe antibiotics "just in case" without further examination -- and most importantly because patients demand antibiotics from them without better knowledge.

Antibiotics are a waste against virus infections, so, yes, you just have to sit the cold out until it goes away! That's sensible.

I'm sure the guys in the lab are more than happy to invent new antibiotic drugs, but there's a risk that some day an unbeatable mutation emerges in consequence of excessive misuse of antibiotics.
« Last Edit: 11/09/2005 11:09:38 by memasa »
 

Offline rosy

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Re: Antibiotics: How Long Before They Become Useless?
« Reply #6 on: 07/09/2005 17:55:30 »
Yeah, that's exactly what I meant memesa, tho' you've expressed it much more concisely.

Incidentally I was listening to a radio program this afternoon (radio 4 so probably Case Notes) which was discussing, among other things, the use of antibiotics to counter childhood ear infections, and concluding that it usually doesn't affect the duration of symptoms except in the case of persistent (lasting more than 3 days
) ear infections when it shortens the duration by, on average, 24 hours... and that early treatment didn't much affect the efficacy of the treatment.
Which was interesting, because I'd always assumed that was a "good" use of antibiotics...
 

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Re: Antibiotics: How Long Before They Become Useless?
« Reply #6 on: 07/09/2005 17:55:30 »

 

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