IT’S not me it’s them, say many people about the overuse of antibiotics.
And many mistakenly believe that the body becomes resistant to antibiotics rather than the bacteria becoming resistant to the antibiotics.
That’s part of the findings of Bond University research published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
It reviewed 54 studies involving 55,225 people and showed about 70 per cent had heard of antibiotic resistance, but most didn’t understand it.
“Any time an antibiotic is used the individual’s risk of developing resistance increases,” Gold Coast university’s Dr Amanda McCullough said.
“This resistance can spread to family and other members of the community, creating a pool of resistant bacteria.
“These resistant bacteria become problematic when an infection occurs and antibiotics that would have treated the infection are no longer effective.”
The study found 88 per cent of participants mistakenly believed the body becomes resistant to the antibiotic, but more than 70 per cent knew using too many or unnecessary antibiotics caused the resistance.
“The main problem is patients did not think that they used too many or that their antibiotic use was unnecessary, in fact, they typically thought other people were the main issue.”
The same applied to health professionals, with studies showing 98 per cent thought it was a serious problem, but less than 70 per cent thought it was a problem for their practice.
“Many people also tend to believe that they need something when they are sick and doctors may feel pressured to meet their patients expectations of treatment. The facts are that antibiotics offer little or no benefit for the treatment of some common illnesses like colds, coughs and sore throats.” AAP