Leftover antibiotics mustn’t be reused; Harms leftover antibiotics can cause: Have you ever had the leftover antibiotic when you were feeling ill? Well, almost every one of us has taken leftover antibiotic in case of emergency or to save a second trip to the doctor. A recent study has shown that sharing the antibiotic ignites the antibiotic-resistant infections. The study shows that in most of the cases, parents were mainly responsible for borrowing or sharing of the antibiotics. This practice is known as prescription diversion.
An unidentified survey was displayed to 496 parents online through Amazon Mechanical Turk for the study. The survey had questionnaire and it showed 48.8% parents reported that they didn’t dispose the antibiotics properly and kept them as leftover for the future. Out of those, 73% parents diverted those antibiotics to their family. Most of the cases reported that those medicines were diverted to others or were used by themselves months after the prescription without any consultation with the physician.
Study also showed that the antibiotics which were diverted the most were 80% liquids, 73% drops and 55% tablets. 16% parents reported that they had given their children adult antibiotics. The dosage of the leftover antibiotic was the same as prescribed and irrespective the age and gender, it was also diverted to children and females.
Dr Milaniak (New York’s Children’s Medical Center) said that giving the medicines which aren’t prescribed by the doctor could be dangerous or may not cure the illness as the bacteria becomes resistant to them. He said, “This is dangerous not only for those given antibiotics that weren’t prescribed for them, but for entire populations of people for whom some antibiotics may no longer help when the bacteria they target become resistant to them.”
Dr Milanaik spoke on to teach the families about how antibiotics work. He also said that more efforts and resources must be applied to accomplish educating the families about the risks of taking antibiotics without consulting a doctor. He added by saying, “Although the discovery of antibiotics has revolutionised medicine, it is imperative that clinicians emphasise the importance of use and dispose of these medications properly to make sure they remain an effective tool against infectious disease.”
Why leftover antibiotics shouldn’t be used:
- It’s not necessary that every illness could be cured by the intake of antibiotic. Sometimes there could be viral infections that couldn’t be treated by the bacteria fighting antibiotics and hence can worsen the illness.
- Leftover antibiotics can cause serious side effects as those are given on the prescription to a person for particular ailment and if used by someone else for different sickness, can cause side effects.
- Antibiotics are bacteria fighting drugs and if not taken properly, sometimes can also kill the useful bacteria of our body.
- Most people use 5-6 months old antibiotics without even knowing the expiry date. It can cause severe problems in the body and could help create drug-resistant bacteria.