Antibiotics And Children Essay Research Paper A

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Antibiotics And Children Essay, Research Paper A very important issue concerning the children of today is the excess prescribing of antibiotics and the dangers that are being created. Everyday, more and more children are being prescribed any easy solution to a very tough problem. There is a constant push from pharmaceutical companies, parents, and massive marketing companies to try the next antibiotic remedy, but as we look towards the future and the diseases that can be created by this quick fix, we should turn to our attention to alternatives remedies. What is so terrible about this situation is that the worst-case scenario of the effects of the mass doses of antibiotics they ingest is an untreatable bacterium that is immune to the treatments we are aware of. That may not

sound so bad until you think about the number of children around the world that could die from this bacterium. It would most definitely be a catastrophic event if a portion of the earth?s population at that early of an age were to be erased. It would be a human-induced bubonic plague of the twenty-first century and it is really not that far from becoming a reality. In a study done in 1992, there were over sixty million different oral antibiotic prescriptions were giving to people under the age of fifteen years old (Napoli). The extensiveness of antibiotic options coupled with their widespread use in pediatric patients highlight the importance of pharmacists having a thorough familiarity with pediatric antibiotic therapy. Also, problems may arise in treating children under the age

of two because of their immature immune system, lack of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for pediatric use of many antibiotics and limited data supporting therapy courses of less than ten days (Napoli). Also, an added complication of the treatment of the patient is the willingness, ability to follow the regimen, and the understanding of the importance of completing the therapy. Before filling the prescription for the appropriate medication, physicians need to be aware of common pediatric infections and their recommended antibiotic therapy. It is important to remember that most upper respiratory infections are viral and that antibiotics would be futile in the attempt to treat such an infection (Berger). This will only strengthen the resistance of bacterial pathogens,

limiting the efficacy of the available antibiotic treatments. Common pediatric infections include otitis media (OM), skin and skin-structure infections, pharyngitis, bronchitis and urinary tract infections (UTIs) (Napoli). Most antibiotic prescriptions that are issued each year go to children under the age of six. This is also the age group that is most susceptible to the high-resistance strain of bacteria (Drugs and Biotech). Recently, bacteria that commonly infect children and adults (like streptococcus pneumonia and staph) have become progressively resistant to antibiotics (Napoli). Widespread, indiscriminate use of antibiotics has created highly resistant bacteria. Some children who could normally be treated with a single course of antibiotics have to be treated with two or

more courses. Some who could have been previously treated with an oral antibiotic at home now have to be admitted to hospitals and treated with intravenous antibiotics (More Drugs ?). Infections with antibiotic resistant bacteria are much more common in high income, white, suburban children under the age of 6, who have received an antibiotic in the last three months and attend childcare (More Drugs ?). These children are much more likely to visit their doctor and are at greater risk of receiving an antibiotic than populations that are medically underserved (Drugs and Biotech). As stated before, antibiotics are effective only in bacterial infections and not in viral infections. If you take one hundred children with a fever, on average ninety of them will have a viral infection and