*note* This is meant to be a sarcastic image, please do not have fun with medicine!
I know we all have times when eating candy like M&Ms turns from eating just one to eating way too many, this happens to me all the time because as my blog buddies know M&Ms are my favorite. So why am I bringing this up? Well because I’ve realized that often people do the same exact thing but with medicines and especially antibiotics! Some of us are guilty of over medicating through over the counter treatments and others run to the doctor and ask for antibiotics when they are not necessary. I know the common cold and flu can make anyone feel awful and that medicines may seem like the quick fix, however through better understanding of when and why to take antibiotics we can actually stop the spread of resistant bacteria. I hope this blog has brought a clearer picture on this issue as the spread of resistant bacteria requires the need for stronger and stronger antibiotics, increasing the number of patients admitted to hospitals with infections. I know it has taught me to not only be careful when it comes to myself but also to be careful when it comes to patients now and for the future. As a medical assistant I am often in charge of authorizing prescription refills for pharmacies to fill a patient’s medicine. At least once a day I receive a refill request for Amoxicillin or Z-pack (2 commonly prescribed antibiotics) and we may not have even seen the patient in the office. In this situation I always go to the Doctor to see what he wants to do, however I’ve learned to take more pro-active steps after learning so much about this issue. I know now that many patients are not aware of the danger in taking antibiotics so frequently and need to be educated through patient teaching. I know that patients sometimes don’t want to call and let health care providers know what their symptoms are because sometimes they may feel that they can get a quicker response if they just ask for the medicine. In future situations I believe patient teaching is necessary and taking the time to call the patients myself, asking for their symptoms or asking for them to come in for an office visit may make a difference in decreasing the spread of resistant bacteria. As a future nurse I believe active steps like these will help with patient teaching skills and also make me a better nurse. I wanted to thank all my group members for their hard work and everyone who has commented, hopefully together we can increase awareness and stop the spread of resistance through the misuse of antibiotics.
Remember antibiotics are not candy so be safe!
The misuse of antibiotics is becoming a major problem in America today. We hear about many drug-related cases happening almost every day, like people being hospitalized for overdosing on their prescription (or even over-the-counter) drugs, and people taking prescriptions for the wrong reasons. Some people who do not know that antibiotics are only used for bacterial infections may be taking these drugs for a viral infection they have caught, which will do them no good, and may even cause harm. Prescription antibiotics can also be misused by mistake of doctors or nurse practitioners who may accidentally prescribe a patient too many different antibiotics if they are not careful. The misuse of these drugs can have many negative consequences; taking too many antibiotics could get rid of good bacteria that are needed for our body, which could make us more susceptible to other diseases. The Food & Drug Administration’s Barbara Moulton says, “Antibiotics may actually delay recovery in cases of the common cold, influenza, polio, mumps, and herpangina…so they should be used where there is a clear and positive need for them.”
Antibiotics should be taken with precaution; as my Pharmacology professor says, “[pharmaceutical] drugs are poisons with therapeutic side effects.” Although there are many good uses for them, they could become deadly when taken in the wrong amounts.
For more information on the misuse of antibiotics, read this article from TIME about the “undesirable side effects resulting from treatment with antibiotics.”
Antibiotics cannot kill viruses. However many people do not know how to distinguish between a bacterial infection and a virus. As stated in the previous post, there are differences between the two. This is especially important when the cold and flu season is upon us as misconceptions between the two often lead to improper treatment. Viruses cause colds, cough and sore throat and Bacteria cause infections such as sinus infections and strep throat. When antibiotics are used improperly to treat a virus unnecessarily or a bacterial infection improperly the chance of developing drug resistant bacteria increases. The Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas’ website offers great advice under its health issues section to safely use antibiotics as well as a few tips to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Antibiotics are medications that fight infections caused by bacteria. There is a difference between bacteria and viruses. For example, viruses cause colds, the flu, most sore throats, and bronchitis. Examples of infections caused by bacteria are salmonellosis, conjunctivitis, and bacterial pneumonia.
Here are some facts about antibiotic resistance:
Some organisms are resistant to all approved antibiotics and must be treated with experimental and potentially toxic drugs.
About 70 percent of bacteria that cause infections in hospitals are resistant to at least one of the drugs most commonly used to treat infections.
Unless antibiotic resistance problems are detected as they emerge, and actions are taken to contain them, the world could be faced with previously treatable diseases that have again become untreatable, as in the days before antibiotics were developed.
For more information about antibiotic resistance visit this website: