The proportion of antibiotic resistant bacteria is growing as a result of improper use of antibiotics. These bacteria are resistant or insensitive to antibiotics. As a result, severe diseases cannot be treated as efficiently and effectively as before. In addition, surgery patients (receiving wound care or having a transplant e.g.) are put at risk when antibiotics are failing.
- Antibiotics are used too often and with no purpose.
- Treatment is stopped prematurely.
- The dosage and schedule instructions are not followed.
Some antibiotics have lost their effect.
- We have to turn to other antibiotics which have more side effects or which are less effective.
- Some diseases get worse because they are harder to treat with the existing antibiotics.
Theoretically, new antibiotics could be developed, but this is expensive and complex. That is why hardly any new medicines are developed.