The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that antibiotics are often prescribed in error, and that overprescribing antibiotics leads to strains of bacteria that no longer respond to treatment.  A joint release with the American College of Physicians, the CDC announced this week that medical practitioners should be more judicious in their use of antibiotics.   This may be something many of us have logically known for some time however it is nice to see an official statement.

Many conditions that patients present to their doctor with are viral in nature and will not be “cured” by an antibiotic.  The CDC website states, “Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses like colds, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections.”  More so there are plenty of side effects associated with antibiotics.  Some possible reactions are; rash, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, drug fever, hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions, vaginal candidiasis, renal (kidney) toxicity, ototoxicity (hearing loss), and dizziness.  NOT as safe as many patients may have presumed.  This goes to show the pressures on medical practitioners to give a medication as a patient expects it these days.  It will take guts, time and education to guide patients to safe alternatives.

The CDC reports that the usual cause of the runny nose, bronchitis, fluid in the middle ear and flu will NOT require an antibiotic as they are usually viral.

http://www.cdc.gov/features/getsmart/

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