Antibiotics have been around for years and are great at treating patients with bacterial infections.  Antibiotics can be life saving treatment for many people.  Unfortunately, there is a growing trend of inappropriate use of antibiotics. This happens when:

  • Antibiotics are taken for viral infections
  • Antibiotics are not taken exactly as prescribed
  • Antibiotics are stopped before they are suppose to be
  • Saving antibiotics for the next time you are sick

Why is this important? The proper use of antibiotics is so important because there is a rise in antibiotic resistance, meaning that bacteria are adapting to the medicines weStop_overusing_Antibiotics typically use to treat patients.  This makes the antibiotics less effective or not effective at all in some cases.  According to the Centers for Disease Control about 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a result of this.

Each one of us can prevent atibiotic resistance. Here’s what not to do:

  • Do not demand an antibiotic from your doctor if he/she says you have a viral infection
  • Do not save antibiotics for later use
  • Do not give ill friends or family members your unused antibiotics
  • Do not stop taking prescribed antibiotics earlier than recommended

Below is a chart to help you determine if your illness may require antibiotics. Of course, you should always be evaluated by a physician if you are ill.