Most people are not aware of all the dangerous side effects of unreasonable use of such drugs.
Photo: Maria CUAREMS
“I’ve caught a cold, I’m coughing for the third day, it’s time to take antibiotics.” Do you also think so? Or, at least, did you hear similar things from friends, acquaintances, colleagues? With their hands on their hearts, almost half (49.1%) of Russians admit that they practice self-medication with antibacterial drugs. This result was shown by a recent study on the level of knowledge about antibiotics, attitudes towards them and the actual behavior of the inhabitants of our country. The study of these issues was carried out by specialists of the Central Research Institute of Organization and Informatization of Medical Care of the Ministry of Health of Russia. The survey involved 2,725 people, 46% men and 54% women; this is exactly what the sex ratio among the population of our country as a whole looks like today.
If you look at the study results through the eyes of the doctors, the data obtained seems self-evident, sometimes even shocking. This is what specifically resulted:
– In the last 12 months, 54.6% of those surveyed have taken antibiotics.
– The vast majority of people bought antibacterial tablets without a prescription. At the same time, 65.5% knew that it was a prohibited technique. Most of the time they were committed by men and women between the ages of 25 and 34.
– In two thirds of cases (72.5%), patients took antibiotics for no reason! For more information about this, see below in the “Test yourself” section.
– One in five (21.7%) admitted that they stopped taking pills ahead of schedule, without completing the course prescribed by the doctor. And there were reasons for that, I bet you recognize yourself?
* 73.9% stopped taking the medication because they felt better;
* 8.8% simply decided the course was “too long”;
* 7.9% experienced a pronounced side effect of antibiotics.
Regarding the level of knowledge, the vast majority of study participants (87.9%) stated that, in general, they were aware of the dangers of unjustified use of antibiotics. Unfortunately, when it came to details, it turned out that knowledge is very poor. Almost half of the respondents (41.6%) are sure that antibiotics kill viruses and are effective in ARVI (colds). Attention, the correct answer is that antibacterial drugs are powerless against viruses, they act specifically on bacteria. SARS are viral infections, so antibiotics “are not on the cash register.”
In general, the results of the study are, of course, depressing. But don’t think we are the only ones. This is a general human problem. “The results are comparable with similar data from foreign studies. In a sense, we do not differ much in our antibacterial habits from other countries, ”commented Olga Kobyakova, director of the Central Research Institute for the Organization and Informatization of Health Care. According to her, there is also a constructive result: the data obtained will improve the program of measures to inform Russians about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.
The most common options for the misuse of antibiotics in self-medication according to the results of the study:
– for colds, flu, covid, other viral infections (for example, herpes);
– temperature increase;
– cough, sore throat;
– “for prevention”: you started to catch a cold – you need to take antibiotics as soon as possible so as not to get sick. Do not do it!
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What is really dangerous unjustified intake of antibacterial drugs?
– Antibiotics stop working.
With its frequent and unreasonable use, pathogenic microbes “get used to it”, mutate and begin to survive. Monstrous bacteria appear, against which existing medicines are powerless. People are starting to die from infections that used to be treatable. This is not a myth, but a reality now.
– Like any pill, antibiotics have a side effect.
Many do not think about why they suddenly began to have allergies, stomatitis (ulcers on the mucous membranes of the mouth), bloating, heaviness in the stomach, diarrhea. These and other disorders in the body can be the consequences of antibiotic abuse, said Oksana Drapkina, chief physician of the Russian Ministry of Health.
– A threat to the health of future generations.
When pregnant women take antibiotics without medical indications or in violation of the rules, this negatively affects the formation of microflora in children. As a result, babies develop various deviations in health, warned Tatyana Priputnevich, independent chief specialist in medical microbiology at the Russian Ministry of Health.
– During the COVID-19 pandemic, Russians began to use antibiotics more frequently, including uncontrolled use. The consumption of these drugs has increased by almost a third, says the chief independent specialist, microbiologist at the Russian Ministry of Health Roman Kozlov. – Often the reason is people’s ignorance. Many people think of antibiotics as a “panacea for all diseases”, without understanding how they work and what side effects they have. The consequence of unreasonable intake may be resistance (resistance) of microbes to the antibiotic. In such cases, doctors try to find another drug for treatment. But it’s likely to be more expensive, and in some cases, with more side effects. Also, time is wasted. If you choose the “right” antibiotic too late, there is a risk that the disease will progress from an acute to a chronic form and even death.
THIS WILL BE USEFUL
Five rules for the safe use of antibiotics
1. Be sure to consult a doctor. He will not only determine whether you need an antibiotic, but also select the most effective one. Now there are a lot of antibacterial drugs, it is important to choose the right one.
2. Do not interrupt the course of treatment prescribed by your doctor. Yes, you may feel better, but all the bacteria hasn’t been killed yet. If you stop taking the pills, the surviving microbes will begin to mutate and become resistant (resistant) to the antibiotic.
3. Follow the dosage indicated by the doctor. If the pharmacy doesn’t have the antibiotic you were prescribed or the correct dosage, see a specialist doctor for a replacement. You can even use telemedicine services (mobile applications), call the clinic’s call center, etc.
4. If antibiotics are stored in your home first aid kit, be sure to check the expiration date before taking them!
5. To quickly get rid of side effects after the end of the course of antibiotics, eat more foods that are good for the intestinal microflora. These are sauerkraut, pickled apples, kefir, yogurt, unsweetened yogurts, ayran.
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