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Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) – Introduction, Causes and Prevention

Introduction

Antimicrobials are the drugs or medicines that help in fighting the microbes by either killing them or hampering their growth. They can be antibiotics , antifungals, antivirals, and antiparasitics. Have you ever noticed that the medicines you used when you were younger for a simple fever are very much different than the medicines prescribed today!? That is because of Antimicrobial resistance.

What is AMR?

Anti microbial resistance means that the effect of Antimicrobial drugs is resisted by the microbes i.e. The ineffectiveness of Antimicrobial drugs towards the microbes causing infection in the body. As we are getting closer to the latest technologies and advancements in Medicine, we’re leaving behind the traditional methods of treatment and overusing the antimicrobial drugs in the treatment of simple diseases which can be treated by light measures without antimicrobials.

How does antimicrobials work?

The antimicrobials work on the mechanism of restricting the growth of microbes (germs) and some kill the existing microbes prevailing in the body. When these anti microbial drugs are continuously used, or over used, or used without an specific reason, the microbes get mutated or form a protective mechanism against the anti microbials. This is why the anti microbials do not give the desirable effect, the treatment choices get narrower and thus the treatment gets difficult because antimicrobials get ineffective.

Causes of AMR

There are a few major causes of AMR which include : prescribing medicines more than required just like taking antibiotics in a viral flu;
Leaving the treatment incomplete eg. Taking medicine until the effect is achieved and not completing the full course of drugs as prescribed.;
Using way too many antimicrobials in poultry and dairy farming, fisheries and animal husbandries.;
Uncontrolled hospital acquired infections;
Not taking care of hygiene and sanitation which can be the cause of recurrent infections and can result in overusing the antibiotics.;
Not getting vaccinated;
Also when there is no judicious use of antimicrobials by people who take antibiotics without the prescription. Thus always ask your doctor before using any medicine with RED LINE on its packet. It’s a warning sign to cautiously use the drug with doctor’s permission.

By eliminating the above causes we can help in fighting back the diseases and by carefully using the course of antibiotics, we can prevent the resistance towards it.

THOUGHT TO PONDER

Imagine when you grow older and
no medicine works and all the medicines are resisted! What could you possibly do but wait to die.!? So complete and judicious treatment today will always be better than no treatment tomorrow.
So always remember: Correct Drug, Correct Dose and Correct Duration.

Special Report By: Dr. Pramiti Rastogi

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