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Will the Overuse of Antibiotics Be Our Downfall

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There has always been a debate regarding the use of antibiotics and if we as American use them more than necessary. Over the last couple of years, the majority of researchers have come to the conclusion that we do. While this does not seem like a big deal to many people, it can have life and death consequences.

Antibiotics are the cornerstone of our healthy lifestyles. They are some of the most prescribed medicines and help treat infections and keep us from getting sicker. In fact, they are prescribed so often that they are attributed to helping drive up the cost of healthcare .

Even when used properly, antibiotics may cause harm in people with certain medical conditions. According to ABCNews , a reported 55.3 million prescriptions for Zithromax were filled per year at its peak. Not surprising with it being one of the most popular antibiotics on the marketing. The only problem? The FDA says the drug may be unsafe.

In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that Zithromax may cause irregular heart rhythms, especially in people who are at risk for cardiovascular conditions. In some cases, the irregular heart rhythms have been fatal. The news came from a study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine in which it was found that there were 47 more cardiac deaths per 1 million when people took Zithromax instead of other antibiotics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, antibiotics are not always the answer . It points out that antibiotics do not fight viruses such as colds, the flu, and many sinus and ear infections. When people take antibiotics in these situations, they train your body not to create antibodies, making your own immune system useless.

When your body is full of antibiotics, it is less inclined to make its own antibodies. This puts you and others at risk. The next time you are infected, your body will make less and less antibodies and be less responsive (or unable) to fight that infection. This could become fatal if you wind up with pneumonia or another life-threatening health issue.

Time Magazine recently did a recent report showing how bacteria can become better infectious agents thanks to antibiotics. Instead of completely wiping out the infection, the bacteria lay dormant and become more resilient to antibiotics. They are then able to better infect cells and make it more difficult for your body to fight them off. So in turn, antibiotics could actually cause "super bacteria."

Antibiotic resistant bacteria is becoming more and more common, not just in the United States . In 2015, researchers discovered what is referred to as a superbug gene mcr-1. It is essentially a bacteria that is resistant to all antibiotics, even colistin which is normally used as the antibiotic of last resort in the medical field.

Regardless of your point of view on antibiotic use, it is time to take note of the studies and what researchers have been telling us. Overuse of antibiotics can have grave consequences. In addition to keeping our bodies from making natural antibodies, the ingredients themselves can cause health issues that could be fatal. Use them wisely and only when needed.

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Carly is a graduate of Memphis State University. She has a B.S. in General Science and currently homeschools while teaching part-time. She loves to write on various topics including education, finance, and everything else she feels important to (more...)
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Will the Overuse of Antibiotics Be Our Downfall

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