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Full prescription may not be the key to ideal treatment – experts find


According to British disease experts on Thursday, the common and incorrect advice to always complete any course of antibiotics isn’t right. The idea advocates that such practice strengthens the spread of drug resistance.

In The BMJ medical journal, the team pointed out that the cause of drug resistance is not stopping antibiotics at an early stage, rather unnecessary use of a drug.

The medical team led by Martin Llewelyn, an expert on infectious disease in the Brighton and Sussex Medical School called out educators, policy makers, and doctors to stop supporting the completion of antibiotic drugs when they speak to the public. Then again, state openly that such long-existing advice is not based on evidence.

Standard ‘full prescription’ has many supporters

The research team said there is the need for further research, but from the present findings, patients may do away with medication when they feel better. This is contrary to the UN’s World Health Organization’s motion that states the possible mutation and drug resistance of disease-causing bacteria if medication is stopped early. The UN’s WHO advises patients to take the complete prescription by their doctor. Furthermore, the US Food and Drug Administration advise that patients take the full course of the treatment.

Complete prescription and the risk of further infection

The recent findings analyzed existing links between effectiveness, treatment duration, and drug resistance. Consequently, the researchers came up with the idea that the idea of shorter treatment leading to drug resistance has no evidence.

According to the research team, the antibiotic sensitive strains and species living in the guts and body of patients taking antibiotics will be replaced by resistant strains and species that can cause infection with time. As such, if there is a persistent intake of the antibiotics, the resistant species gains more ground and becomes transmissible to those who have no symptoms of the ailment. For what it’s worth many experts that were not involved in the research concurred with the conclusion.

Need for a review of prescription method

The president of the British Society for Immunology, Peter Openshaw agreed in comments through the Science Media Centre London that reducing antibiotics courses may help fight the resistance problem common with antibiotics medication. Openshaw said that antibiotics could be used to cut down the level of bacteria in the body to an extent where patient’s immune system can cope with it.

A professor of epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, Mark Woolhouse said that some cases call for extended treatment – when the bacteria grow slowly or when the patient’s immune system is compromised. He added that the present method of prescription needs a review.