Antibiotics save millions of lives and are one of humanity’s greatest discoveries. They have made sicknesses that were once surely fatal to an ailment with a quick fix with no downsides. It’s almost as if it sounds too good to be true. Unfortunately, today we are finding out more than ever the drawback to these miracle drugs. There are several negative side effects of using antibiotics that we did not previously know. Not only have there been studies showing that overuse of antibiotics can lead to the evolution of superbugs, diseases that become immune to antibiotics and therefore much harder to treat, but also, they cause negative symptoms to our bodies. In a study conducted by University of Eastern Finland, it was found that ciprofloxacin, the most common ingredient to antibiotics, can have a negative effect on our body’s metabolism, leading to dangerous symptoms.
Fluoroquinolones are the most common type of antibiotics that we get prescribed to treat bacterial infections and more specifically, ciprofloxacin. These antibiotics are great for curing ear, urinary, and respiratory infections, but also have caused some patients to develop symptoms such as tendon rupturing and permanent nerve damage. The reason why these antibiotics are so effect is because they shut down bacterial topoisomerase gyrase, leading to its death. This drug, however, cannot distinguish the difference between bacterial topoisomerase and our body’s own topoisomerase and shuts down these important enzymes within our own bodies in the mitochondria. Topoisomerase 2 is the enzyme that is responsible for the replication of DNA within the mitochondria, and without the functioning of this critical enzyme, many patients have destructive symptoms. The hindering of this organelle is very dangerous as it produces our body’s important ATP for daily functioning.
As we learn about the functions of mitochondria and other cells parts in class, I recognize the importance of this new discovery because I understand that all organelles are critical for the healthy development of life. More specifically, I recognize that the mitochondria are very important because it produces ATP and energy for our systems to function, and without the full activity of the mitochondria, the whole cell cannot function at its full capacity. We have learned that cellular respiration is a process that all humans need to survive and by shutting down or even slowing down this core system can lead to dangerous symptoms.
We are very fortunate to live in a society with quick access to life saving drugs such as antibiotics. We use these drugs without hesitation because we see that it fixes our temporary problems, but it is important to recognize the risks of these drugs. They have several possible drawbacks, despite what we thought before. These drugs will continue to save millions of lives and are without a doubt important to our health, but it has come to a point where people take the antibiotic for small, unnecessary illnesses. Doctors should keep the potential drawbacks in mind when handing out these prescriptions and consider only using them when necessary.