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We have all heard of the superbugs which researchers warn us about.  Superbugs doPill bottlesn’t respond to the antibiotics we often use to treat infections.  They have become resistant to the antibiotics we have available.  The problem is due to the overuse of antibiotics making them less effective in fighting bacteria.

We are being warned to ask doctors not to prescribe antibiotics for some infections.  Since most of us trust our doctors and don’t question what they say, we need to educate ourselves on what conditions may not need an antibiotic.  We also need to know how we should respond when we do have certain infections.

Consumer Reports has provided some information about infections we should question our doctors about before taking antibiotics.  They feel most of these infections (listed below) do not respond to antibiotic treatment.  Antibiotics treat bacterial infections and are not effective against viral infections (caused by viruses).  When most of us go to the doctor we want a pill (quick fix) to take care of whatever we have, so doctors have gotten used to prescribing antibiotics just in case there is a bacterial infection with the virus.  Most of us would get better without any antibiotics, but we credit the pill for making us better.

If you experience these conditions ask your doctor if they think antibiotics will really help:

Table for Pat's blog

To reduce your risk of antibiotic resistance check with your doctor to make sure antibiotics are necessary.  Use antibiotics only as prescribed by your doctor and IMG-Wash-Hand-Sticker-Remindertake as the prescription recommends.  To keep germs away practice good personal hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water, especially after using the restroom, before eating, and while preparing food.  Make sure you and your children receive all the recommended vaccinations.  Eating healthy and being active are also keys to staying healthy.

 

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educator

Reviewer: Jenny Lobb, Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educator

 

References:

Consumer Reports. (2016). When to Say No to Antibiotics for Infection.  Available at https://www.consumerreports.org/drugs/when-to-say-no-to-antibiotics-for-infection/

Mayo Clinic, (2014).  Consumer Health.  Mayo Clinic. Available at https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/antibiotics/art-20045720

Skinner, G. (2010).  Just Say No to Antibiotics for the Cold and Flu.  Consumer Reports.    Available at https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2010/11/just-say-no-to-antibiotics-for-the-cold-and-flu/index.htm

Goff, D. (2017). Battling Superbugs. The Ohio State University.  Available at https://www.osu.edu/features/2017/battling-superbugs.html?utm_campaign=UNIV%20March%20Connect%20with%20MyOhioState&utm_medium=email&utm_source=EOACLK

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