Just how dangerous are antibiotics?

Collectively, the world is consuming more antibiotics than ever before. In the biggest study of its kind into antibiotic consumption, published in 2014, researchers at Princeton University found that use of the drugs had increased by 36% in a decade.

What is behind this increase – and what kind of effect is it having on our health?

To be clear, there are certainly times when antibiotics are absolutely necessary – in the treatment of serious bacterial infections for instance – and it is almost impossible to overstate the positive impact they have had in treating what were once fatal conditions.

But this does not tell the full story. Read more