Antibiotics are utilized to treat bacterial infections throughout the body. In the average lifetime, a person will take them numerous times on a short-term basis. It’s well-known that antimicrobials are invaluable treatment options. Some confusion exists about taking antibiotics over long periods of time, though. Fortunately, we’ve got answers here at the ScannerDoc: Medical Imaging and Health Blog.
Typical Antibiotic Uses and Treatments
For most bacterial infections, a regimen of antibiotics lasts anywhere from three to 10 days. Antimicrobials tend to come in pill or ointment form with slight variations between the two. Rarely are they needed for longer than a few days to stop bacterial infections. Typically, doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat eye infections, urinary tract infections, and more. These medications will not treat any viral infections.
When is long-term usage necessary?
Long-term antibiotics usage is a rare occurrence, but certain conditions require it. For instance, rosacea and certain forms of acne necessitate frequent usage of these medications. A handful of other conditions involving bacterial infections could involve long-term treatment with antimicrobials. The overwhelming majority of people will never suffer from such a condition because antibiotics are so effective.
Long-Term Usage Risks
Taking antibiotics over long periods of time can be risky for two reasons. For starters, all medications come with side effects. Side effects range from discomforting to severe, and they often get worse with time. Antibiotic resistance is the second issue, which can have large implications. With prolonged usage, the bacteria could become resistant to medication, and that makes treating infections exponentially more challenging.
Can long-term usage be safe?
In the end, long-term antibiotic usage can’t be avoided in all cases. Patients should work closely with their doctors to create a safe but effective usage plan. Topical ointments have less pronounced side effects and a lower risk of resistance, so they’re preferable for long periods of use. Either way, doctors and their patients need to weigh the benefits versus the risks in creating an antibiotic regimen to avoid issues moving forward.
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