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Consequences Of Self-Prescribing Antibiotics

Self-medication in Nigeria is not much of a big deal. From malaria medicine to the cure-all paracetamol tablets that treat anything from a mild headache to a raging fever and hallucinations, we are used to going to the local pharmacy to buy drugs. Hospitals have become the last resort.

It is the common opinion that those in the hospital have one foot in the grave and their entire family is praying for their safe delivery from the jaws of death. Asides painkillers, malaria medication and blood tonics, the next self-prescribed favourites are antibiotics.

When all else fails, antibiotics comes to the rescue. From different brands of penicillin to tetracycline, erythromycin and the reigning queen of the lot, Ciproflaxin, we consider all our health needs covered. Pimples, the flu and the smallest ill-advised itch don’t stand a chance. But a lot of people are unaware of the dangers that accrue from the abuse of these lifesaving medicines.

Someone taking antibiotics

One of the foremost concerns in modern medicine is antibiotic resistance, caused mainly by antibiotic misuse as bacteria become resistant to medications that would ordinarily kill them. Antibiotics also kill the “good bacteria” in the in the gut known as gut flora that supports immunity and proper digestion. Antibiotics affect the PH levels of the vagina by killing of the protective bacteria, thus leaving women vulnerable to vaginal infections, especially yeast infections.

There is actually such a thing as too much of a good thing and antibiotics take centre stage. A simple trip to the hospital and a test can confirm if antibiotics are the proper recourse or not. Making a conscious effort to reduce your intake of antibiotics can ensure not just proper bodily functions, but also the preservation of the integrity of antibiotics for generations to come.

In this article:
AntibioticsFejiro Onohwosa
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