Antibiotics – Overuse and Bacterial Resistance, A National Challenge

Antibiotic Resistance is a real problem. Determining the right antibiotics to use for the appropriate illness has always been a challenge and determining effectiveness and efficacy is more important than ever now.

Here’s why:

  • An estimated 1 in 3 prescribed antibiotics in the United States in 2018 was prescribed unnecessarily
  • There are an estimated 47 million unnecessary prescriptions every year
  • Antibiotics are only meant to treat bacterial infections and are ineffective against viral infections like the cold and flu
  • Taking antibiotics too often or for the wrong reasons can change bacteria so much that antibiotics no longer work against them
  • According to the CDC, “Each year in the U.S., over two million people get an antibiotic resistant infection, and at least 23,000 people die.”
  • There is an investigation underway into the possible link between unnecessary antibiotics prescribed in childhood and obesity/diabetes in adulthood
  • Some bacteria are now resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics available

So, how do we prevent antibiotic overuse? It’s simple – Prevention and Control.

  1. Only use antibiotics when prescribed by a certified health professional.
  2. Never demand antibiotics if your healthcare provider says you don’t need them.
  3. Always follow your healthcare provider’s advice when using antibiotics.
  4. Never share or use leftover antibiotics.

Technology has also provided new ways to ensure the proper antibiotics are prescribed for specific infections further eliminating unnecessary antibiotics, costs, and impact on patient care.

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