What is Prophylaxis?
Medikoe Health Expert
Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
“Prevention is better than cure.”
We all have this bit of wisdom. But do we really practice it? So many lives could be saved if we all lived by this principle. That is why countries around the globe is putting a lot of effort to minimize the effect of diseases and reduce the number of lives as much as people.
Prophylaxis is a group of measures designed to preserve health and prevent the spread of diseases. There are mainly 2 types of prophylaxis:
Continuous prophylaxis: Given regularly over a period of several months and often years.
Periodic prophylaxis: Given for shorter periods of time, usually a few weeks or months.
What are some ways to practice prophylaxis?
Planned Parenthood: There are 2 types of prophylaxis related to this:
pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
Health officials can spread awareness about Planned Parenthood by releasing educational videos explaining HIV prevention drugs. They can also provide victims with emergency contraception.
Antibiotic prophylaxis: Some antibiotics are prescribed to prevent infections in certain situations. Eg. People with abnormal heart valves have a high risk of developing infections after any kind of surgery. To prevent such infections, such people take antibiotics before having any kind of surgery, including dental surgery.
People with weakened immune systems such as people with AIDS or people who are having chemotherapy, also have a risk of developing infections. Antibiotics also may be prescribed to them.
But even healthy people with strong immune carry a high risk of infection, if they are traveling to parts of the world where they are likely to get an infection that causes diseases like diarrhea.
Because the overuse of antibiotics might lead to resistance. They may cause a number of side effects too. So they should be used only for a short time.
Infusion of clotting factor concentrates in order to prevent bleeding. This is done for people with severe hemophilia. People with hemophilia (who have clotting factor levels below 1%) experience spontaneous bleeding. They also have joint damage. So if they could keep minimum factor levels around 1% with regular infusions of clotting factor concentrates, it may reduce the bleeding and prevent joint damage.
Prophylaxis is now the goal of treatment for people with weaker conditions to allow them to participate actively in daily life.