No antibiotics for you!
Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES
In a study of more than 180,000 people age 66 or older published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine, almost half (46%) of the people seen by their physicians for a cold, acute bronchitis, sinusitis, or laryngitis were given antibiotics even though none of these are caused by bacteria, which is the only thing antibiotics work on. The likelihood of getting an antibiotic prescription was greatest from physicians in the mid to latter part of their careers, those who received their medical education outside of the U.S. or Canada, and from those who saw more than 25 patients a day.
Journal article abstract: http://annals.org/aim/article/2625386/antibiotic-prescribing-nonbacterial-acute-upper-respiratory-infections-elderly-persons
Article summary: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/317409.php
Use this News
Why is this important, you ask? Because inappropriate use of antibiotics has unintended consequences, among them: increased health care cost, increased risk of antibiotic resistance, and increased risk of drug induced complications like allergic reactions and diarrhea - with the most serious of which is caused by Clostridium difficile (C. diff) - which can be fatal.
What can you do to avoid being prescribed antibiotics when you don’t need them? The CDC recommends the following actions:
· Don’t pressure your health care provider for antibiotics.
· Ask your health care provider about ways to treat your
symptoms without antibiotics.
· Tell your health care provider you are concerned about
using antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary to treat
a bacterial infection.
· Practice good hand hygiene to prevent infection in the first
Remember - taking antibiotics for a viral infection:
Will NOT cure you
Will NOT prevent those around you from getting sick
Will NOT make you feel better
For more information see:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Antibiotics aren’t always the answer
Protecting yourself and your family
About antibiotic use and resistance