As a general rule, you should resist taking antibiotics unless it is absolutely necessary for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, there is plenty of evidence that Western doctors are increasingly happy to prescribe antibiotics for almost any medical condition, almost irrespective of whether that condition is likely to respond favorably to antibiotics or not.
This has unfortunately made the average man or woman in the street far more dependent on antibiotics than any previous generation has ever been. Consequently, it has become increasingly common to hear of the development of new strains of â€˜super bug' that are resistant to the effects of antibiotics, with the most extreme example being MRSA.
As long as we continue to rely on antibiotics to deal with every medical condition, superbugs like MRSA will continue to develop, which ultimately puts our health at greater risk, rather than making us safer.
Now, there has to be a â€˜rider' or exception introduced here, because if you have undergone surgery for any medical condition that is serious enough to justify it, you definitely do need as much protection as you can get, especially when you are still in hospital where the risk of cross infection is greater than it would be once you are home.
In this case, refusing antibiotics may not be the smartest move as it is clear that in this situation, they may be the best thing for you even though they are not perfect. Even though you know that a â€˜super bug' like MRSA is resistant to antibiotics and that there can be antibiotic side-effects, accepting the drugs in this situation may be the safest course of action.
However, if your doctor prescribes antibiotics in a situation where all you are suffering from is simple boils, then the need to take them becomes far less clear. And because there are potential side-effects, you should definitely think twice before doing so.
According to another report published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2008, taking antibiotics puts 142,000 people into the hospital emergency room every year in the USA. Furthermore, and perhaps most surprisingly, it is the most commonly prescribed antibiotics that represent the biggest risk and it is adults in the prime of their life who are most likely to suffer an adverse reaction to antibiotics with 41.2% of emergency room visits being made by those aged 15 to 44 years old.