An Urgent Care Answers: Can You Become Immune to Antibiotics?

Urgent Care North Las Vegas, NV

Antibiotics are a medication that an urgent care physician prescribes to treat infections that are caused by bacteria. The antibiotics fight the infection by making it difficult for the bacteria to grow and spread or by killing the bacteria. An article in The BMJ medical journal found that over 150 million prescriptions for antibiotics are written in the United States every year.

Can you become immune to antibiotics?

There is a common misconception that the more of a medication that you take, the more your body becomes resistant to it. In reality, your body does not become immune or resistant to antibiotics. Instead, it is the bacteria that the antibiotics are fighting that become resistant to the medication if it is used over a long period.

Some bacteria naturally resist certain antibiotics. Other forms of bacteria become resistant to the medication after acquiring drug-resistant genes. In most cases, the longer antibiotics are used, the less effective they become when it comes to fighting bacteria.

Why do bacteria become resistant to antibiotics?

Bacteria have existed since life first developed and have survived many harsh environments over the years. The conditions that bacteria have gone through allow the organisms to develop survival instincts. They can adapt to hostile environments, one of which is the ability to become immune to antibiotics.

Should you care about antibiotic immunity?

Antibiotic immunity or resistance is spreading all over the world, creating problems for sick people. Due to the bacteria’s antibiotic, diseases like pneumonia and meningitis have become more difficult to treat. The resistance makes the antibiotics ineffective. You will likely need to get stronger and more expensive medication from your urgent care clinic.

The antibiotic resistance complicates the healing process because you will have to use the medication longer and might not get well as quickly as expected. The antibiotic resistance can lead to other health issues and in some cases, death.

The resistance also makes it difficult to treat people who have to undergo chemotherapy, dialysis or surgery because they occasionally take antibiotics to reduce the odds of infection. If the bacteria are immune to the antibiotics, the medication will not be as effective and leaves the patients at risk of other health problems.

How do you treat antibiotic immunity?

  • Take antibiotics only when you need them. According to the Centers for Disease Control, close to 30 percent of prescriptions for antibiotics are not needed. Antibiotics also do not work on illnesses caused by viruses, which means they will not work if you have a common cold or sinus infection.
  • Finish your medication. If your urgent care physician prescribes antibiotics, you should use the medication as prescribed and take all of it, even if you start feeling better. If you stop taking the antibiotics before the infection is completely killed, the remaining bacteria might become immune to the antibiotics.
  • Get vaccinated. You can protect yourself from some of the diseases that require antibiotics by getting immunized.

Do you need antibiotics?

Antibiotics are very effective in dealing with infections caused by bacteria. Using these medications when it is not necessary can allow bacteria to build up an immunity. If you feel sick, please visit our urgent care center to see if you need antibiotics or if another method can help treat your illness.

Call us today at (702) 514-4295 for more information from Encompass Care.

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