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Antibiotic resistance: Are antibiotics magic beans?


When I was much younger (and even now) there was this cartoon series I enjoyed watching on Mangas TV. It was known as Dragon ball Z. What was amazing (apart from the kameya thingy) was when someone was at the point of dying, if you gave the person a little green bean and succeeded to make him swallow, he will all of a sudden get well and most times even stronger.

I think these days, people take antibiotics thinking its a magic bean. I mean people seem to associate it with all illnesses and believe it is the ultimate cure. Every single day I have to talk patients out of buying antibiotics. I know it is bad for business but we have more ways to make money than put you at risk.

Most end up yelling at me for refusing to dispense and they still end up buying elsewhere. You will see a poor one year old baby subjected to a cascade of antibiotics for some little cough he had. TERRIBLE!!!

 Antibiotics do not treat all infections as they are ineffective in diseases caused by viruses such as the common cold, cough, sore throat…etc and also most mild infections (e.g. stomach ache) will go away without antibiotics. SHOCKER!!!

You know what they say, what doesn’t kill you, will only make you stronger. The same goes with bacteria. There are some ‘good’ bacteria in the body and they, together with the harmful bacteria could develop resistance to the antibiotics. This means the next time when you will really need the antibiotics, it won’t work for you. You may end up stepping up to higher levels of antibiotics, and believe me, they are expensive. 

If you really have that much to spend, rather than buying drugs that won’t help you or make you worse, get some vitamins or so…or hey, you could send me some of it. I will gladly teach you how to use money.

I came to realize the main reason why people insist on having these antibiotics and feel incomplete if not prescribed an antibiotic. This is because there are so many ‘doctas’ (you know, the self proclaimed doctors) out there be it another parent or road sellers (or even pharmacy attendants who want to increase end of month sales so they can have bonuses).

What works for one person may not work for another. Stick to your doctor’s (you know the real type) prescription.

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Ekwoge Hilda

Dr. Ekwoge Hilda is a trained pharmacist from Cameroon and Co-founder of HILPharma. When she is not busy creating content, she slings pills to pay the bills.

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