Everyone who was once very ill, and then prescribed antibiotics or leeloo and became well, know this wonderful feeling: one dose or injection and the temperature will return to normal, and the condition will improve. A day or two later, and you are already a healthy person, although you have to “finish” your medicine.

No other group of drugs gives such a noticeable, lasting effect of getting rid of the disease. Therefore, it is not surprising that you want to experience this effect more often. After all, it would be so good, having been ill in the evening, to take a pill, waking up healthy in the morning!

Many pills and tablets isolated on light blue background. Pharmaceutical medicament, cure in container for health. Antibiotic, painkiller closeup. Copy space for text.Many pills and tablets isolated on light blue background. Pharmaceutical medicament, cure in container for health. Antibiotic, painkiller and thermometer closeup.

True, most of the diseases that we experience in life – the colds and flu that haunt us from season to season – are not treated with antibiotics, for the reason that antibiotics kill bacteria, and respiratory diseases are caused by viruses. But bacterial complications of these diseases are perfectly treated. It is these cures that fit into the scheme: I was sick for a week, it was bad, nothing helped (the virus), then I was sick for another week, it got even worse (a bacterial complication), then they prescribed an antibiotic and recovered.

Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?
Often, general practitioners will prescribe an antibiotic right away. Together with antiviral, antiallergic, nasal drops and cough syrup. Don’t they know the difference between viruses and bacteria? Of course they do. And they also know that few people, having received a diagnosis of ARVI, will go to bed until they recover.

Normally, there should be no complications. A healthy body with an adequate immune response can cope with any seasonal virus in 5 days. The patient’s task is to provide the body with conditions for the struggle: bed rest, abundant drink and moist, cool air. But in fact, people endure sores on their legs, knock down not the highest temperature (the same “immune response” designed to fry viruses) and do not care about the balance of fluids, which causes the healing mucus in the nose to dry out.

As a result, microbes happily multiply in a weakened body, and when a virus passes the post, THEY accept it. Therefore, antibiotic therapy here acts as a prophylaxis – to prevent the growth of bacteria. What trivial snot could cope with, if the temperature and humidity regime were observed, are made by serious medicines with a lot of side effects. But dysbiosis and allergies are not the worst thing.

The main danger of antibiotic addiction
For each power there is a different power, and where there are superheroes, supervillains appear. At the beginning of the 20th century, penicillin seemed like a miracle, a panacea, but today it is practically not used. Why? The bacteria are no longer afraid of him. After years of unequal opposition, they have evolved and become stronger. Following penicillin, new drugs gradually cease to work. Because the longer they are used, the more opportunities the bacteria have to thoroughly study and improve their defense mechanisms.

The paradox of the XXI century: the most terrible, incurable infections are found not in a landfill or in a sewer, but in the sterile cleanliness of a clinic. Plague and cholera are no longer a threat, hospital staphylococcus is a real horror! Hardened in battles with daily sterilization, it has developed a complete immunity to antibacterial weapons and is now called “superbug”.

Each time you take antibiotics, you give information to the enemy and make humanity a little more defenseless. If you take antibiotics incorrectly, you will feel your own defenselessness quickly. Your own doctor? Did you calculate the dosage incorrectly or did not complete the course of treatment? The disease will return, and the old medicine will no longer work on it. However, even if you are smart enough not to grow superbugs inside you, nothing will stop them from attacking outside.

The post-antibiotic era is inevitable. What’s next?
Even if all of humanity now begins to use antibiotics only in case of emergency (which is unlikely), this will only delay the inevitable – the complete loss of the effect of all existing antibacterial drugs. It is nobody’s fault that bacteria evolve – this is the law of life, which is the same for all creatures.

We could only postpone the evolutionary process, but thoughtlessly worked out the entire resource of Alexander Flemming’s discovery in just a hundred years. Today, while some are hoping for antibiotics to cure the common cold, thousands of others are dying of drug-resistant tuberculosis, pneumonia, typhoid fever … And the list grows every year.

However, not everything is so sad: after the WHO report on the onset of the “post-antibiotic era”, research on how to replace antibiotics has been launched more actively than ever. This “something” can be bacteriophages – special viruses that destroy bacteria; or bacteriocins – microbes that destroy their own kind.

It also relies on proteins – antimicrobial peptides. Finally, no one canceled the improvement of the defenses of the human body – for each force there is a different force, remember? Unlike bacteria, we have intelligence and science. Therefore, we will definitely be stronger.