Medical Minute: Antibiotic Awareness Week
According to the Center For Disease Control, or CDC, at least 30% of antibiotics in U.S. outpatient settings are prescribed unnecessarily. Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, system medical chief for infectious diseases for OhioHealth says that antibiotics can save lives. But they can cause side effects and lead to resistance in some patients.
The CDC reports that antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. Each year at least 2-million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result. Many more die from complications from antibiotic-resistant infections.
"Antibiotics kill bacteria, that's all they do," Dr. Gastaldo said.
Doctor Gastaldo says that physicians and pharmacists have worked hard to only prescribe the correct amount of medications, and for the right reasons. In addition to these drugs not always being to fend off the reason they are prescribed, there are additional worries.
"Unnecessary antibiotics can lead to superbugs, and superbugs are bacteria that can lead to more severe consequences in patients," Dr. Gastaldo said.
It is also up to patients to manage their medications properly at home, have clear and consistent conversations with their doctors and pharmacy teams to stay on top of medications.
If you would like more information on being smart with antibiotics, click here to see the CDC recommendations.