BY: CLAIRE KIM
Unlike allergy medications or supplemental pills, antibiotics are prescribed by doctors in cases of urgent medical treatment. Because antibiotics are so strong, patients often have to receive consent or recommendation from a doctor to ensure that it is safe for use to prevent any real dangers from happening from wrong consumption. However, despite this well-known process, it seems like several patients have not been following this step, thus causing further health concerns regarding the risks of extreme dosage.
According to a study published by the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine, this is a “public health problem that can increase drug resistance and make it harder to treat infections”. With growing numbers of drugs being bought outside of a medical setting, doctors and health researchers have shown blatant concerns with the dynamics of patient “economics”. For one thing, they are concerned with the higher health risk at hand as the consumption of misleading drugs can lead to diseases or interruptions in the body’s processes. With no doctor at watch, who knows what addictions or problems can blow up?
Additionally, Dr. Barbara Trautner, an infectious disease clinician-investigator at the Baylor College of Medicine, has also conducted a study to interpret what the causes of such a phenomenon could be. From her analysis, she has stated that some of the causes are “poor health-care access, long wait times at the doctor’s office, costs of antibiotics and doctor visits, lack of transportation and embarrassment about getting treatment for sexually transmitted infections”. She has also concluded that most of the derived drugs have been leftover from a previous use such as a family member.
The real issue here is the serious health consequences that come with unregistered consent. A professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health has mentioned that “what’s important about this study is that [nonprescription antibiotic use] is a form of antibiotic use that contributes to the burden of antibiotic resistance.” Based on this conclusion, it’s arguable to say that the weight of the risks at hand is far worse than what is actually expected.
When it comes to purchasing drugs, especially antibiotics, it is always important to be careful with your consumption and to be honest with your doctors to ensure that no harm falls in place. Our bodies should not be dealing with extreme antibiotics if it doesn’t need such a warrior.