Antibiotic, Penicillin, By Alexander Fleming Essay

1259 Words Dec 10th, 2015 6 Pages
Antibiotics, or antibacterials, are commonly used to treat infections caused by bacteria which are microscopic organisms that may cause illness. Their purpose is to destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria thus allowing the body’s natural defenses to take over. These powerful medicines can save lives if used properly. However, there is global concern that they are being overused or not being administered as directed. Overuse is a huge factor contributing to the growing number of bacterial infections developing a resistance to antibiotics. Alexander Fleming discovered the first antibiotic, penicillin, in 1928. He forecasted this type of drug resistance in his 1945 Nobel Prize acceptance speech when he said, “Then there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug, make them resistant.” (Medical News Today) Antibiotics are thought of as a keystone to modern medicine but, with misuse and overuse, may generate a myriad of unwanted side effects. Some of these unwanted side effects may include, but are not limited to, diarrhea, changes to gut flora, fungal infections, kidney stones, sun sensitivity, deafness, or, in some cases, even death. Antibiotics may interact with over-the-counter or non-prescription medicines or may undermine the effectiveness of other medicines such as oral contraceptives. Another not so obvious side effect of antibiotic resistance lies with increased drug and…

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