Medical

Antibiotic Resistance – What you need to Know?

 

Because of the over - use of antibiotics, many diseases have become resistant to the antibiotic.  Antibiotic use has been beneficial and, when prescribed and taken correctly, their value in patient care is enormous. However, these drugs have been used so widely and for so long that the infectious organisms the antibiotics are designed to kill have become resistant to them, making the drugs less effective or not effective at all.

 

What does this mean to you?

People infected with drug-resistant organisms are more likely to have longer and more expensive hospital stays, and may be more likely to die as a result of the infection. When the drug of choice for treating their infection doesn’t work, they require treatment with second- or third-choice drugs that may be less effective, more toxic, and more expensive. This means that patients with an antimicrobial-resistant infection may suffer more and pay more for treatment.

 

What do antibiotics treat?

Antibiotics can cure bacterial infections.  Some examples are strep throat, pneumonia, STDs, and some sinus infections.

 

What do antibiotics not treat?

Antibiotics do not cure viral infections.  Some examples are the common cold, most coughs, flu, bronchitis, runny nose – even if the mucous is green, and sometimes even an ear infection.

 

What can you do to help?

Do not insist on an antibiotic when your provider does not recommend one.  If you are prescribed an antibiotic:  take it exactly as your provider tells you, do not skip doses, do not share with others, finish the antibiotic even if you feel better, do not save it for later.