Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

The Truth About Antibiotics

  1. Begin Slideshow
    TruthAboutAntibiotics_opener01

    348

    SHARES

    8 comments
    See All Slides

    Antibiotics have a reputation for being a cure-all. They’ve been prescribed for everything from cuts and scrapes to sore throats and gonorrhea, so it can be difficult to parse what, exactly, they fight. To make matters more confusing, phrases like “antibiotic resistance” and “post-antibiotic future” are increasingly popping up in the news cycle, painting a picture of a medically induced end of times.

    In the 1920s, scientist Alexander Fleming realized that as an evolutionary tactic in their fight for resources, some bacteria produced chemicals to kill other kinds of bacteria. He believed those chemicals could be extracted and then used to fight infection in humans. So, when he first released penicillin in 1943, it was used to treat injured soldiers on the front lines of World War II — and it was lifesaving. Fleming was hailed a hero and antibiotics became one of the greatest medical breakthroughs in history. But, since the 1940s, much has changed in the way we use them. Ahead, we break down the common myths around antibiotic use and take a look at how years of (amoxicillin) pill popping has altered the medical landscape.



    Want even more R29? Get the latest news, tips, and can't-resist stories delivered straight to your newsfeed, in real time.
    Begin Slideshow

MORE SLIDESHOWS

New York

3 All-White Looks You Can Wear After Labor Day

Wearing an all-white outfit on Labor Day weekend is a no-brainer. It is, at least in theory, the last potential heat wave we'll see. Still, there are ways to deck yourself out in #allwhiteeverything well beyond the end of August without feeling unseasonal. You just have to be willing to be a little more creative. To help read

Food & Drinks

Where To Eat For The Rest Of The Summer

Regardless of what the weather is saying, we’re not ready to give up on The Great British Summer just yet. Over the next few weeks, we plan on taking advantage of the remaining warm(ish) days as best we can — by letting the sights and sounds of London lure us out on the town. Luckily, there are a slew of new restos read