Antibiotics are compound produced by bacteria and fungi. Antibiotics are capable to destroying or checking the growth of microbial species. The first antibiotic was discovered by Alexendar Fleming, a Bacteriologist, at St Mary's hospital in London in 1935.

          Before discovery of Penicillin (Antibiotic), there was no effective treatment for infection like Rheumatic fever, Gonorrhea,Pneumonia etc.Hospitals were full of septicemia patients and physicians could do little for them but wait for hope. It was a great discovery in medical science. Now a days many types of antibiotics are available in the market. Maximum antibiotics have little bit differences in terms of chemical formula, structure and their action on different types of bacterias.

         Usage of improper or incorrect antibiotic causes resistant to bacteria. This situation is very very alarming now a days, because people are very casual regarding correct usage of antibiotics due to lack of knowledge especially in developing countries.Once any type of bacteria become resistant against a particular antibiotic, a different and higher/ new generation antibiotics  may required to kill or check such resistant bacteria. Hence proper investigation must be carried out before starting antibiotics. Dose, frequency and duration plays an important role for good and expected result from antibiotics. Leaving course of antibiotic leads to resistance of bacteria, hence such antibiotic has no effect on that particular type of bacteria as they were effective in past.

           Before using antibiotics, it is more important to know the following facts to prevent the resistance and also side effects:

    1.  Antibiotics do not act on viruses. They only act on bacteria. So, in many common illness such as common cold,cough, bronchitis etc can not be treated with antibiotics.
    2. Antibiotic must be used with causiously. Improper and excessive taking of antibiotics can cause side effects and also may reduce their effectiveness in long term.
    3. Some antibiotics must be taken under supervision of doctors or under expert medical staff as they may produce sign and symptoms of allergy and also may develop  "Anaphylactic shock". A test dose is required to examine the suitability and any allergic reaction with some of antibiotics such as penicillin group (Benzyl Penicillin,Procaine Penillin, Benzathin Penillin etc).



         In some bacteria and germs, antibiotics become ineffective if they come in external influences e.g mostly germs enter in to the body orally with food directly in to the stomach. They may destroyed in stomach by gastric acids. Where as some germs are coated by mucous membrane can not be destroyed by gastric acids and they are resistant to gastric juices like HCl.

         Same principle is applicable on resistance of bacteria. The bacteria can develop the self protective mechanism against antibiotics. The outer wall of bacteria become so hard to break by antibiotics. If different antibiotics become ineffective on bacteria is known as "multi resistant".


         Antibiotics must be sold only on doctor's prescription. Open sale of antibiotics or on over the counter (OTC) facility to be prohibited untill/unless RMP prescribed.The physician must be responsible for causiously and proper use of antibiotics. If physician feels that the patient is suffering from bacterial infection then only the antibiotics be prescribed. The doctor will decide about the dose, route,duration etc on the basis of patient's age, sex,weight etc.

         To prevent spreading of some preventable infections caused by some resistant bacteria, hygiene regulations must be followed, especially in the hospitals where antibiotics frequently used as compared to out side from the hospitals. So development of resistant germs can take place rapidly. Always use gloves, gowns, masks and  disinfectants while handling patients, who have an infection of resistant bacteria.

        Veterenarians should also follow the same instructions.


        Antibiotic resistance and side effects can be prevented if taken cauciously. It is important not to over estimate what antibiotic can do.

       Generally antibiotics are required to treat severe bacterial infections such as infection in blood, brain or in spinal cord. It should not be used in respiratory tract infections which are mostly caused by viruses. Checken Pox and Herpes zoster and Herpes simplex or some other common viral infections must not be treated with antibiotics. As antibiotics have some side effects like head ache, nausea vomitting, bowel problems (loose motion), therefore while using antibiotics, these issues must be taken into consideration.



                                                                                         Arun Kr Tripathi