Antibiotics – Know the Facts
Antibiotics are life-saving drugs when used wisely.
Antibiotics treat infections caused by bacteria. They DO NOT work on viruses that cause colds and flu.
Each year, almost 2 million people in the U.S. become infected with bacteria that antibiotics can’t treat. These bacteria no longer respond to antibiotics.
Antibiotics also kill good bacteria in your body.
Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them doesn’t make sense.
It takes many years to develop new antibiotics. We need to improve the use of the drugs currently available.
One of the biggest health threats is from bacterial infections that no longer respond to antibiotics. Everyone must work together to use antibiotics wisely.
How you use antibiotics today will affect how well the drugs work tomorrow.
Some questions to ask when you are prescribed an antibiotic:
Why do I need it?
What kind of infection do I have?
How long should I take it?
What are the side effects?
Will it interact with other drugs?
How and when should I take it?
Hospitals across the country are working together to educate people on the proper use of antibiotics to avoid resistance. The effort known as, Antimicrobial Stewardship hopes to prevent the development of multi-drug resistant organisms by avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics. The Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee of HAMH & WE consists of medical professionals including pharmacists, registered nurses and physicians.
Visit www.cdc.gov to learn more.