Are You Overdoing Antibiotics?
THURSDAY, Dec. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotics are life-savers. But they're being overprescribed and overused, leading to antibiotic-resistant germs stronger than the drugs available to treat them.
This is also creating more drug side effects, allergic reactions and serious infections.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in one year alone, more than 262 million courses of antibiotics were prescribed on an outpatient basis -- that's 842 prescriptions for every 1,000 adults. For children up to age 9 and adults 65 and older, the rate was greater than one to one, meaning that many took more than one prescription over the course of a year.
Urgent care centers, in particular, are prescribing antibiotics to walk-in patients at a very high rate, often because patients are demanding them, even when they're not necessary.
As a consequence, people are experiencing a growing number of infections caused by bacteria resistant to various antibiotics. These include MRSA, E. coli and strains of pneumonia.
Antibiotics Overuse 411:
Sometimes you do need an antibiotic, but other times you don't.
Follow these best practices to avoid antibiotic resistance:
Take steps to limit your exposure to antibiotics so that they'll work for you when you really need them.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has detailed information on antibiotic resistance to help you stay safe.