Advantages and Disadvantages of Antibiotics

Published on 04-Aug-2022


Antibiotics are a type of medication that is useful to treat bacterial infections. They are not effective against viral, fungal, or parasitic infections.

Antibiotics were first discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming. He noticed a decrease in bacteria when mold was accidentally destroyed on an agar plate during his research on influenza virus A. after that, several discoveries led the way toward more modern antibiotics.

There are antibiotics available for both humans and animals: 

Antibiotics for humans: penicillin antibiotics, cephalosporins antibiotics, macrolides antibiotics, and sulphonamide antibiotics;

Antibiotics for animals: tetracyclines antibiotics, streptomycin/spectinomycin antibiotic injections, and amoxicillin antibiotics.

These are potent drugs prescribed by doctors. Antibiotics work specifically for treating certain infections. When used correctly, antibiotics function quickly and effectively and save the patient life. After taking these properly with prescribed doses, white blood cells work against harmful bacteria and the immune system fight off the infections. 

Some common infections are given below that are treated with antibiotics. For examples-

  • Bronchitis.
  • Acne.
  • Otitis Media (Ear infections in adults).
  • Sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Upper respiratory tract infections.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye).
  • Soft tissue or skin infections.

Sore throats, coughs, colds, and flu are viral infections where antibiotics can't work. They are not used to treat-

  • Ear infections in children.
  • Chest infections in adults or children.

Antibiotics work not only for humans but also work for animals and other insects (houseflies, cockroaches), rodents (rats, mice), and pets (dogs, cats). If the doses of antibiotics are over, these also can be harmful to animals, insects, pets, etc. 

Here can be discussed in short, which antibiotics work for whose. Like-

Amoxicillin, streptomycin, spectinomycin, and tetracyclines antibiotics are used for animals. 

Clavamox, enrofloxacin, metronidazole, and clindamycin antibiotics are used for a pet means dogs and cats.

Gentamicin, tylosin, doxycycline, and TMS (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) antibiotics are used for rodents.

Common Antibiotics:

There are many antibiotics. But some common antibiotics are listed below-

    • Cephalexin.
    • Amoxicillin.
    • Doxycycline.
    • Azithromycin.
    • Metronidazole.
    • Clindamycin.
    • Ciprofloxacin.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Antibiotics

Antibiotics have both advantages and disadvantages in inhibiting the growth of bacteria or treating different diseases. It has significant benefits in medicine. The main advantage of antibiotics is that they can cure bacterial infections, which often lead to serious health problems if left untreated. However, antibiotics also have some disadvantages:

Advantages of Antibiotics

For Human Being:

Antibiotics are drugs that can identify certain infections and it is the first and foremost advantage of antibiotics. They keep bacteria from reproducing and dramatically contracted the severity of sickness. Fortunately, these antibiotics function very well in the human body. They have different advantages, for example-

  • Prevents Surgery: Antibiotics boost the healing of serious diseases. From getting complicated they can prevent it as there is no need for surgery.
  • Highly Effective: From simple to complicated diseases and infections, antibiotics are fully effective for all.
  • Reduced Disease Progression: Any infection or disease can grow quickly. Antibiotics aid in decreasing the chances of getting acute and tangled with these infections. After taking antibiotics infections can not spread out the body and finally, at a time infections stop working.
  • Low Cost: They are available and affordable, at the same time, they also are very reasonable to purchase.
  • Surgical Cases: During any kind of surgery like, pregnancy, heart attack, etc. several apparatuses need to be used and there is a possibility to occur infection. Here also antibiotics help to reduce the possibility of occurring infection.
  • Easy to Take: There are two ways to take antibiotics. One is an oral medication and another is an injection. Both of them are easy to consume.
  • Work Quickly: According to your body system they work very fast and work within a few hours in your body.
  • Kill Bacteria: They reduce the bacterial growth of diseases in the body and kill many invading bacteria.
  • Save Life: They save your life by preventing the infection's growth and killing harmful microorganisms.
  • They have low gastrointestinal side effects.
  • All aged people can use it easily.
  • Even during the period of pregnancy, antibiotics can be used under prescribed the doctors.
  • They never create any problem in the intracellular penetration.
  • Sometimes, antibiotics are used as a food preservative.
  • They also can be used in animals to prevent diseases.
  • Antibiotics have been developed to cure cancer by damaging the specific cell.

For Animal:

There are several benefits of using Antibiotics in an animal. They are given below-

  • Antibiotics increase the efficiency of the livestock animal like feed efficiency.
  • They enhance the growth rate of the animal.
  • They prevent animals from suffering from bacterial infections.
  • Antibiotics help to treat clinically sick animals.
  • The use of antibiotics helps sustainable products like the improvement of egg production.
  • They help to prevent disease and keep the animal healthy.
  • They extend animals’ shelf-life.

For Plant:

Since the 1950s, antibiotics have been used for controlling various diseases of plants. For example, streptomycin and oxytetracycline are the most commonly used antibiotics for plants. They are only 0.5% in total. Using of antibiotics in plants has several advantages. They are-

  • Antibiotics help to control bacterial diseases of plants like bacterial spots of peach, fire blight of pear, and apple.
  • They affect plant traits such as delayed germination.
  • They help to develop post-germination.
  • They affect yield in farmland fertilization.
  • Antibiotics affect herbs and grasses.

At a glance

-Antibiotics can kill the invading bacteria

-Antibiotics can prevent the infection from spreading

-Antibiotics are cost-effective and affordable.

However, antibiotics have some disadvantages: 

Disadvantages of Antibiotics:

Antibiotics are not always practical. Overuse can cause severe side effects that can be the disadvantages of antibiotics. They are-

  • Resistant: Antibiotics can cause resistance in bacteria, so they become difficult to treat. Overuse of antibiotics can be resistant and harmful to your body. The more you intake antibiotics the more your body becomes resistant. In the future, it can lead to severe issues if antibiotics are resistant to your body.
  • Diarrhea: It can cause bloody diarrhea. Changes in the composition of microbe species in your intestine can increase harmful bacteria and clostridium difficile. This is the cause of diarrhea.
  • Damage mitochondria: In mammalian cells, the mitochondrion is an important cell organelle. It is an energy-producing part. It can damage the function of the mitochondrion. 
  • Vaginal infection: Some antibiotics can cause vaginal yeast infections. Yeast infection means inflammation in the vagina, which is a form of vaginitis. Odorless vaginal discharge, burning sensation on or around the vulva, and pain or discomfort while urinating are the most common symptoms of vaginal infections. It is so natural vaginal condition in 15-44 aged people.
  • Heart problem: Sometimes, some rare antibiotics named fluoroquinolones, can cause severe side effects that have a heart problem. It can cause sudden shortness of breath, swollen ankles, feet and legs, heart palpitations, etc.
  • Tooth discoloration: Due to taking tetracycline and doxycycline antibiotics, the tooth can be discolored in children. It also affects pregnant women’s teeth.
  • Severe inflammation.
  • Less effective: If you take it often, it can be less effective in your body. On the other hand, if you intake more alcohol, antibiotics can’t work effectively.
  • Damage immune system: If you take it for a long time as a treatment for any infection, it can damage your immune system.
  • Bone damage: Some antibiotics can damage your bone, as it is sensitive to sunlight.
  • Allergic reaction: Antibiotics can cause allergic reactions in some people. Allergic reaction is the most important disadvantage. Though most of the cases can be mild. But when it becomes severe, it can cause fever and nausea, and dermatitis can also happen in utmost cases.
  • Inappropriate use of it can create a massive threat to your health.
  • Death: In the acute case, antibiotics can cause death.
  • Birth control: It also can react with birth control though the chance is about 1%. That means, it can interfere with contraceptive pills’ functioning by reducing the effectiveness of these pills. 
  • Extra cost: It sometimes kills the good bacteria that can cause other health problems by adding extra cost. To get rid of these problems there need to take another medicine. To buy this medicine you need to pay and this is the extra cost.
  • Expensive: Antibiotics can be costly and sometimes difficult to get off. Some antibiotics are so expensive, and it isn't easy to buy for general people. For severe health problems sometimes doctors prescribed expensive antibiotics. These are mandatory for becoming well soon. But it becomes a burden for the people who are living from hand to mouth.
  • Kills Good Bacteria: Antibiotics can kill the good bacteria too, which leads to an imbalance in the body and causes other health problems


Advantages and Disadvantages of Antibiotics


Side Effects:

Using unnecessary antibiotics may cause some side effects. These can be mild or adverse side effects. Some ordinary side effects are-

    • Vomiting.
    • Nausea.
    • Diarrhea.
    • Inflammation.
    • Allergic reaction.
    • Rash.
    • Fungal infection of the mouth.
    • Digestive problem.

Some uncommon side effects are also given below-

  • Blood clotting: Abnormal blood clotting can cause by taking some cephalosporins.
  • Blood disorders: After taking trimethoprim blood disorders can occur.
  • Deafness: When you take erythromycin and aminoglycosides, you can be affected by deafness.
  • Kidney stone: The formation of kidney stones can occur after taking sulphonamides.
  • Be concerned about taking tetracyclines, because it is so sensitive to sunlight.

Despite these disadvantages, antibiotics remain one of the essential medications available today for treating bacterial infections. It is essential that when a healthcare professional prescribes antibiotics, they are taken as directed and finished even if symptoms disappear sooner than expected, as this helps to ensure that all the bacteria are killed and reduces the chances of developing antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are dangerous if not taken correctly. - writing about how you avoid using antibiotics is a type of medication used to treat bacterial infections. They are not effective against viral, fungal, or parasitic infections.

Antibiotics were first discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming. He noticed a decrease in bacteria when mold was accidentally destroyed on an agar plate during his research on influenza virus A. after that, several discoveries led the way toward more modern antibiotics.

Finally, I would like to conclude by saying that using antibiotics is very important because we cannot get rid of bacteria from our bodies without using them. However, overuse of antibiotics leads us to several health issues, so having precautions while you take an antibiotic will help you stay healthy both mentally and physically! Thanks :)


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User Comments

You share a lot of information about antibiotics . I agree with your opinions that antibiotic has both positive and negative effect on human health as well as other animals . We should be careful to use antibiotics. In my perception we should not take antibiotics without doctor's suggestions. Everybody should be aware of advantages and disadvantages of antibiotics.
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