“A man is already halfway in love with any woman who listens to him” Brendan Francis.
Over the years of writing these newsletters, the subject of antibiotics has been one of my favorite. Historically, the first antibiotic Salvarsan, was dispensed in 910. In just over 100 years, antibiotics have extended the human lifespan by 23 years. The discovery of penicillin in 1928 began the development of natural product antibiotics. Since then a gradual decline in antibiotics discovery and development of drug resistance in human pathogens has led to the antimicrobial resistance crisis we are now experiencing. The overprescribing of antibiotics and the over utilization by patients has worsened this crisis.
Antibiotics work by either killing the bacteria (bactericidal) or by suppressing their further growth (bacteriostatic). Antibiotics are specific for bacteria, and therefore will have no effect on viruses. Antivirals can either suppress or kill viral replication. Antifungals can suppress or kill fungal growth. Therefore, it is important that the clinician diagnose the proper medication applicable to the offending pathogen. Prescribing the wrong medication, the improper dose, or the inappropriate frequency can actually worsen an infection. Proper dosing, frequency and duration are an important component of the prescribing clinicians duty. Clinicians must also be cognizant of the deleterious effect that antibiotics can have on a patients natural flora (healthy bacteria). Some sensitive patients will experience gastrointestinal distress or opportunistic fungal overgrowth while on antibiotics, these can be uncomfortable and sometimes even life threatening (C dificile). It is important that patients keep their doctor informed in the even that they experience side effects from the antibiotic therapy.
Should you or someone you love have questions about a course of antibiotics or their potential side effects, please call the office to speak to the doctor.
Michael W. Dagostino, DDS.