The use of antibiotics outside of a medical prescription or without respecting the number of days of treatment given contributes to infections becoming resistant to treatment.
When used unnecessarily, the drug ends up eliminating microorganisms that exist in harmony with the body and that serve to protect our bodies against other invasive bacteria. If treatment is stopped too early, delay in finding a cure can even lead to death, according to Agência Brasil.
The first and main inappropriate use of antibiotics occurs when the patient stops treatment because he understands that he is already cured. Besides not promoting a permanent cure for the infection, saving the leftover medication for future use can cause more problems than benefits.
The risk is that the patient will confuse the symptoms in the future and end up treating himself, without being sure of the infection, says Cláudia Vidal, specialist in infectious diseases at the Hospital das Clínicas de l Federal University of Pernambuco.
“Some symptoms can appear in more than one diagnosis and can sometimes be related to infections and sometimes not. The second mistake is to use antibiotics as an antipyretic, that is, to lower the fever. The third mistake is using it as a pain reliever and the fourth mistake is using it as an anti-inflammatory. The antibiotic can only be used to treat the infection,” the doctor states.
Her advice is to not use antibiotics without consulting a doctor, and, if necessary, follow the treatment correctly.
Data released by the World Health Organization in 2019 indicated that microbial resistance could claim the lives of 10 million people per year by 2050. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is expected to worsen, because the use of antibiotics has increased dramatically.