When you think of a doctor’s visit, you might think of a script in your hand when you walk out. Even though this is the most common thought, it’s not the most common occurrence – which is actually a great thing.
Antibiotics are wonderful; they save lives and help the people that need them to recover and bounce back from an illness. However, any time they are used, they can cause side effects that lead to antibiotic resistance. At least 80 million antibiotic prescriptions each year are unnecessary, which makes improving antibiotic prescribing and use a national priority.
That’s why during National Antibiotics Awareness Week, the CDC is warning patients and their families to ‘Be Antibiotics Aware’ and to use antibiotics only when necessary. Small steps like this can reduce the occurrence of resistance and the spread of superbugs.
The CDC is encouraging families to:
- Get the facts about antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work on viruses, such as colds and flu, or runny noses, even if the mucus is thick, yellow or green. When antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and the side effects could still hurt you.
- Ask your doctor or nurse about the best way to feel better while your body fights off a virus (pain relievers, fever reducers, saline nasal spray or drops, warm compresses, liquids, and rest may help).
- If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about your antibiotics, or if you develop any of these side effects, especially diarrhea, since that could be a difficile (c. diff) infection, which needs to be treated. Shortening the duration of antibiotic therapy to the minimum effective duration is a key antibiotic stewardship strategy in all settings of health care. The goal is to maximize the benefit to the patient by curing the infection while at the same time minimizing the risks of side effects from antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.
- Stay healthy and keep others healthy by cleaning hands, covering coughs, staying home when sick, and getting recommended vaccines, for the flu, for example.
When illnesses come your way, Five Star Urgent Care is here to help save the day with treatments and prescriptions when necessary. Walk in to your local facility today or learn more about what we treat.
For additional information about being antibiotics aware, visit the CDC for more information.