Over the counter antibiotics
Appearance of antibiotics has opened a new era in medicine. Use of antibiotics in clinical practice has allowed to save millions of human lives. Since the discovery, antibiotics is a major means in the treatment of bacterial infections. However, antibiotics are often prescribed and taken as a preventive measure without sufficient grounds. Therefore, as the scale of clinical antibiotics use increases, the number of resistant bacterial strains also grows.
Uncontrolled and irrational use of antibiotics has led to the development of bacterial resistance. Therefore, efficiency of antibacterial therapy is significantly reduced and thus a new effective antibiotic is required.
Development of new and effective antibiotics requires a lot of costs and time. Herewith, resistance to a new antibiotic can very quickly develop after its appearance at the pharmaceutical market and the use in clinical practice. According WHO data, currently a very limited number of new antibiotics are under development. This means that in the ever-increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, without new and effective antibiotics medicine can go back in time when antibiotics did not exist. When usual pulmonary infection could cause death or when medicine could not cope with meningitis.
It is known that infections, caused by resistant strains become a reason of life-threatening septic conditions, pneumonia and other infections that are difficult to treat. Moreover, resistance to antibiotics increases hospitalization duration and costs for the treatment. It is because of the development of microbial resistance to antibiotics, in many European countries and the U.S. antibiotics are sold by prescription only.
According to WHO idea, many countries conducted a public awareness campaign that antibiotics are effective only in bacterial infections and do not have effect on viral infections, such as common cold. Society was convinced that antibiotics use by prescription only, observance of dosage and duration of antibiotic therapy will help to stop the problem of microbial resistance to antibiotics. It should be noted that such campaigns have been effective and uncontrolled use of antibiotics reduced by more than 25%.
Despite the fact that almost all antibiotics are sold by prescription only, doctors very often prescribe a course of antibacterial therapy before the diagnosis confirmation. In frequent relapses of infection, a patient can be prescribed one or even two antibiotics. The earlier treatment of bacterial infection is started, the faster the remission can be achieved.
Frequent relapses of bacterial infections occur in people with weakened immune system, as well as in people who do not pay enough attention to the treatment of chronic bacterial infections. One of the diseases in which a course of antibiotic therapy should be started in the first symptoms is chlamydia.
The first symptoms of chlamydia are transparent, white or yellowish discharge; pain in the lower abdomen; itching and burning sensation when urinating. In most world countries you can buy antibiotic to treat chlamydia by prescription only. However, the UK has become the first country where antibacterial drug for chlamydia treatment can be bought without prescription. In 2008 MHRA approved Azithromycin antibiotic for sale without a prescription. Azithromycin has become the first over the counter antibiotic, available for sale in the U.S.
Azithromycin is an international nonproprietary name of antibacterial agent, sold under different trade names. For example, in Australia over the counter antibiotics that contain Azithromycin are sold under the trade names: Azith; Zitrocin; Azithromycin Sandoz; Zedd; Zithromax.
Over the counter antibiotic Azithromycin possesses bacteriostatic effect. Azithromycin inhibits protein synthesis and slows the growth and multiplication of bacteria extra-and intracellular infectious agents. Azithromycin antibiotic effectively suppresses gram-positive microorganisms, gram-negative bacteria and some anaerobic microorganisms. Antibacterial drug Azithromycin is inactive against gram-positive bacteria, resistant to erythromycin.
As any other antibiotics, over the counter antibiotics should be taken daily, observing dosing regimen. All over the counter antibiotics have contraindications, you should learn them before the course of antibiotic therapy.
If over the counter antibiotics are taken for the first time, dosing regimen should be prescribed by the doctor. In frequent recurrences of bacterial infection, one can start taking over the counter antibiotic before the consultation with professional health care worker. However, after the use of over the counter antibiotic, an adjustment of dosing regimen may be required.
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