Close this search box.

These 7 Scary Facts About Antibiotics That Will Change Your Mind Forever

These little-known facts about antibiotics are going to change the way you perceive this drug!

Whenever flu season rolls by, it becomes customary for most people to go to the doctor and demand they be prescribed some antibiotics! However, have you read any facts about antibiotics recently? This is not to deter you from taking them, since medicine has only helped us all over the years, but rather to help you understand these medicines better.

When you get the flu, you do not need to take antibiotics since the flu is a virus, not a bacteria, which is what antibiotics are used to counter. Yet, it has become customary to be prescribed antibiotics when we are sick, even when we may not end up needing to take them, and this can lead to dire consequences. One of the scariest facts about antibiotics is the fact that people can end up developing resistance to them, which puts us at risk of not having a choice of medicine that is going to be effective in case we get infected with a bacteria!

Another one of the facts about antibiotics that is chilling is the fact that they are not always going to be there for us when we most need them! And as the last couple of epidemics and pandemics have shown us, viruses and bacteria are always mutating, which can make them immune to antibiotics!

Here at Mind Bending Facts, we understand how important it is to keep informed about all topics, and to help you understand antibiotics better, we have researched this topic and brought to you some of the most important facts about antibiotics that have been proven by science!

To find out what antibiotic facts you may not have known before and prepare yourself with the knowledge you need, keep reading this article!

facts about antibiotics
Image By Soru Epotok From Shutterstock

1. The world has been warned about antibiotic resistance since 1945!

This is probably one of the saddest and scariest facts about antibiotics that the world has been warned about but ignored over the years! Alexander Flemming, who has been credited with the discovery of penicillin and the first antibiotics in general back in 1945, said in the same year that these antibiotics could end up slowly losing their effectiveness until they end up not working at all. Even in his Nobel Prize speech, he wanted to share one of the common facts about antibiotics that have been on scientists’ minds since then.

He shared that penicillin, the antibiotic he has created with his team, can end up becoming dangerous if it is not prescribed in the correct doses.

This wanting pertains to the fact that if the bacteria are exposed to small doses of the antibiotic, they will end up growing accustomed to it, and they have also managed to make certain microbes immune to it in the laboratory by conducting such an experiment. This may be one of the most chilling facts about antibiotics that he could have shared, but the science world did not listen to him carefully, and we have seen such bacteria evolve in such a way.

What’s more, this does not remain relevant only when we talk about facts about antibiotics, as this warning has proven itself to be true in the case of many types of drugs. For example, it is known that if you take the same type of painkiller over and over (for example, ibuprofen), your body can develop resistance to it, and you will need higher and higher doses of it in order for it to be effective!

2. Before antibiotics were invented the mortality rate was extremely high even for the most common illnesses!

If you are aware of one of the facts about antibiotics, it has to be this one: before the invention and discovery of antibiotics, the death rate for some of the most common health problems and complications was extremely high. Back then, people would be dying from common problems such as skin infections or scrapes due to the infection that would take over their bodies; women would die during and while giving birth; and the one disease that was rampant was pneumonia, with millions dying worldwide due to this disease.

Even nowadays, pneumonia can take lives if not treated accordingly and as fast as possible, but back then, due to not having the proper medicines to fight these bacterial infections, people would be dying way more often, with an estimated 30% of all patients who got pneumonia falling victim to it. About five in every thousand women who gave birth were sure to lose their lives, and as many as one in every nine people who got an infected small wound, scrape, or insect bite would die of the infection.

It is one of the most bleak facts about antibiotics to face since, in the modern age, we have gotten so used to being able to rely on this medicine in order to keep ourselves out of harm’s way. However, the future is not as shiny as it may have looked back in the day when more and more antibiotics were being discovered: a world without antibiotics is not something we can turn back to, yet a world in which both people and microorganisms have developed resistance to them is very probable if society is not careful!

3. There are way more antibiotics prescribed each year compared to the actual need for these medicines!

Another one of the facts about antibiotics that we need to keep in mind when using these drugs is the fact that almost half of all of them that are prescribed each year are most of the time not needed, or they are not seen as the optimal choice of treatment for that type of disease they are prescribed for. The problem with this practice is that people end up abusing this type of medicine, and due to improper prescription, the natural resistance we have to them increases tenfold instead of the normal rate when only used when needed.

To give an example, a lot of patients end up demanding antibiotics from their doctors, and it is too often that doctors end up yielding to their wishes, despite the fact that they do not need to do this. A study was done back in 2013 that showed that in 73% of cases, doctors ended up prescribing antibiotics as medication for acute bronchitis, which is actually one of the drugs that are definitely NOT recommended for this disease! Even if, in recent years, doctors have become stricter when it comes to this practice, it does not undo the damage done until the present day.

What’s more, in addition to rampant misuse, taking antibiotics can also lead to side effects and even adverse drug effects due to improper combinations. One of the facts about antibiotics that many do not bring up too often when combined with certain drugs, antibiotics can cause allergic reactions, and even the combination of these drugs can cause them to have adverse reactions that will send them to the ER. Especially common in patients who are already vulnerable, the misuse of antibiotics can prove to be life-threatening for some groups of people.

facts about antibiotics
Image By Neirfy From Shutterstock

4. Facts about antibiotics: there has been a decline in the development and approval of new antibiotics!

You would think that with the rise of bacteria strains that have become resistant to antibiotics, the development and research of new antibiotics would be a booming industry. Unfortunately, this is a sad facet of medicine, as not only has the FDA been on a downward trend when it comes to approving new types of antibiotics, but the Research and Development (R&D) in this field have been underfunded for years, which has also translated into a lack of facts about antibiotics amongst the general population.

Why is that, you may be wondering? The problem dates back to the 1950s, shortly after the discovery of penicillin. Back then, it was easy to discover new and natural matter-related antibiotics following the discovery pattern for penicillin. However, by the 1980s, all the natural ways of obtaining antibiotics had been discovered, and in a way, the easy ways of researching in this field had disappeared.

Compiling the fact that the development was going to be a more costly procedure alongside increased research costs, major pharmaceutical companies preferred to cut down budgets and even close most of their R&D departments, leaving the discovery to be outsourced through smaller, independent labs, which has caused this relative pause in the development of new effective medicines amongst continuously resistant bacteria.

5. Did you know that there are antibiotic-resistant infections that are rampant in the United States?

This may be one of the most chilling facts about antibiotics, and while some may try to say that this is untrue, the data comes directly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and one of their reports. The CDC comes out with reports periodically about the state of antibiotic-resistant infections in the United States, and their 2013 report showed us just how dangerous these types of infections can be: in only one year, 2 million Americans have contracted an antibiotic-resistant infection, and about 23,000 people have died due to them.

In ten years, we have seen these numbers change (with about 2.8 million Americans getting infected and 35,000 losing their lives), and with how medicine has advanced, the infections have probably also advanced and mutated as well. These bacteria are an important part of the facts about antibiotics since they are resistant to some of them but not all of them. Thus, treating them is a hard task since the doctors cannot know when a new one appears, what it will be immune to, and which one of the antibiotics is going to work in treating the bacterial infection.

Some of the most contagious and dangerous antibacterial-resistant bacteria that have both become common and that the CDC warns about include: Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA (which is resistant to the methicillin antibiotic), spreads extremely fast in medical facilities, as does C. diff (Clostridioides difficile), a type of infectious diarrhea that is highly contagious, inflames your colon, and can be life-threatening if not treated quickly, as well as antibacterial-resistant gonorrhea and E. coli.

If after reading this article you have gotten curious about the development of the first pills, make sure you check out this book about how plants and powders helped shape medicine as we know it today!

facts about antibiotics
Image By EB Adventure Photography From Shutterstock

6. Facts about antibiotics: Humans are not the only ones taking them!

When you think about facts about antibiotics, this is one of them that may surprise certain people, while for others it is not something that is unknown, especially if you know someone who has worked or is currently working in the agriculture industry. The practice of using antibiotics for animals is not new, and they can be really useful in saving their lives when it comes to contracting infections, just as they are useful for humans. Yet, this is not the only reason why antibiotics are used on animals, especially when we talk about farms and slaughterhouses.

Livestock drugs have been used to increase the animal’s weight and “encourage” their growth ever since someone discovered the practice. However, this practice of artificially encouraging the animal to grow bigger and faster is not only frowned upon, but the CDC has long since called it unnecessary and called for it to be passed out of use. This did not stop the slaughterhouses from continuing this practice.

Since there is a fear that humans may soon come into contact with more and more antimicrobial resistance diseases, widespread use of these antibiotics, even when there is no need for them, can cause the bacteria to easily mutate and become immune to more drugs, which can cause problems in the long run. Despite both the CDC and the FDA sharing similar concerns about the use of antibiotics for production purposes only when it comes to food-producing animals, the limitations of the usage of such drugs have remained at a guidance level.

7. Most global pandemics that we are going to see are extremely probably to be antibiotic resistant!

The most recent global pandemics have accumulated a ton of deaths worldwide; however, they are relevant to the discussion about the important facts about antibiotics that everyone needs to keep in mind for a number of reasons.

Back in 1918, the world was facing its deadliest pandemic since the Black Plague back in the 1300s: the flu. And while some would be quick to say that it is a virus and not a bacterial infection, the reason why so many people died is that the flu weakened their immune systems, which made it easy for bacterial pneumonia to latch onto their bodies. Nowadays, these infections are treated

Infectious diseases and pandemics have shaped our society for years. The COVID-19 pandemic, which is the most recent one, has shown us just how easily people turn to antibiotics despite them not being the best course of action. At the start of the pandemic, a high percentage of patients infected with the COVID-19 virus had received antibiotics as part of their course of treatment. Despite 60–70% of them getting antibiotics, only about 10%–20% of them actually suffered from secondary or primary bacterial infections, so most of them were prescribed for nothing!

This led to a rise in the disease that most scientists are scared of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). When compared to the times before the pandemic, more and more people are diagnosed with AMRs, and as a result, they can lose their lives due to them. Researchers are afraid that while COVID-19 has claimed a little less than 7 million lives ever since its inception (and it is still claiming lives), AMRs may reach a point where they will kill 10 million people each year.

A good way in which they say we can try to protect ourselves is to understand when we need to use antibiotics and when we do not need to take them so that we do not increase our bodily resistance to them. Another way is to get ourselves vaccinated against these diseases when possible so that we naturally gain immunity against them. This is why knowing the facts about antibiotics is crucial for the future!

You may have found some of these facts about antibiotics strange; however, the medical world is full of unknown and, at times, even weird diseases! If you are interested in this topic, make sure you read this article about the strangest diseases you may be developing after you turn 50!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

related posts