Many people believe that using antibiotics will cure most illnesses including coughs and colds. However antibiotics don’t work on viruses which is what causes most respiratory tract infections.
Whilst doctors state that antibiotics are not a cure-all they are still being over-prescribed. Professor Mark Enright of the University of Bath thinks that G.P’s have got the message that antibiotics don’t treat viral conditions but there is growing emphasis on seeing the patient quickly and moving on to the next one. If a bottle of pills satisfies the patient that’s what they are given.
Enright believes that the unregulated use of antibiotics across Asia doesn’t help but he insists we need to concentrate on the proper use of antibiotics.
The use of antibiotics should be done with caution as while they are a valuable tool they will cause an imbalance in the bacteria in the body and may sterilise healthy bacteria. The long term implications of antibiotics could cause allergies and possible links to autism have been suggested.
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To listen to Professor Mark Enright’s interview on BBC Radio 4 click here.