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The FDA wants doctors to be more careful about giving antibiotics when they are not needed.

They will require new labeling for doctors.
One of the new labels must say that these drugs should be used only for infections caused by bacteria. Another label will ask doctors to explain the right way to use the drugs to their patients.

What can you do to prevent antibiotic resistance?
Don’t demand an antibiotic when your doctor says you don’t need it.
Don’t take an antibiotic for a virus (cold, cough, or flu).
-Take your medicine exactly the way the doctor says. Don’t skip doses.
Don’t stop taking your medicine when you feel better. Take all the doses.
Don’t take leftover medicine.
Don’t take someone else’s medicine.
Don’t rely on antibacterial products (soaps, detergents, and lotions). There is no proof that these products really help.

For more information visit this site:
http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/health/antibioticres/resistance.htmhelping-hands

There are three ways how antibiotic resistance happens. One is through DNA mutation, or transduction, second, through transformation, and lastly, which is the most horrifying is from a plasmid, or conjugation.

For more information, click here

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Not using antibiotics in the proper way can be very dangerous, and even deadly. Two examples of the horrific consequences of the misuse of prescription drugs can be seen by the late model Anna Nicole Smith and the late actor Heath Ledger.

Many people believe that the main cause of Anna Nicole Smith’s death involved the misuse of prescription drugs. Smith had been treated for an addiction to pain killers a few years earlier, and had previously been using a weight loss drug called ephedra, which has now been taken off the market because it is known to have caused damage to the lining of the heart in some users. Many prescription drugs were also found in Anna Nicole Smith’s hotel room, including an anti-anxiety medication called Valium, which can be addicting if it is misused. Many of these antibiotics she was taking may have caused dangerous drug-drug interactions, which led to toxicity and overdose. Anna Nicole Smith’s twenty-year-old son had also died when his anti-depressants and methadone caused a deadly interaction.

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Read this article for more information about “the death of Anna Nicole Smith and the epidemic of prescription drug addiction.”

CNN reported that Heath Ledger had died from “an accidental overdose of prescription medications including painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills.” He had been known to be taking hydrocodone and oxycodone, both of which are painkillers, diazepam, an anti-anxiety medicine also commonly known as Valium, temazepam, a sleep medication, alprazolam, another anti-anxiety drug that is commonly sold as Xanax, and doxylamine, an over-the-counter antihistamine drug that can be used as a sleeping pill. The combination of these drugs became toxic and sadly killed Heath Ledger.

Here is what Ledger’s father had to say:
“While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath’s accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.”

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Read more about Heath Ledger’s accidental overdose.

Here’s a fun fact: Seven out of ten Americans receive antibiotics when they seek treatment for a common cold!
Lets look at a case where antibiotics are misused:

-Patient X comes in with cold/flu like symptoms. The patient then pressures the doctor into prescribing an antibiotic to get a quick fix to his/her illness.

What’s wrong with this?
Answer: Antibiotics won’t cure a cold because colds are caused by viruses, not bacteria.

How many times have you stopped taking medicine prescribed by your doctor in the middle of treatment? Antibiotics are misused because many patients do not take them according to their doctor’s instructions. They may stop taking their antibiotics too soon, before their illness is completely cured. This allows bacteria to become resistant by not killing them completely.

So the moral of the story is: next time you are prescribed an antibiotic, either finish it or don’t take it at all.

For more information visit: http://www.vhct.org/case899/correct_use_of_antibiotics.htm

2003-03-26-mystery-disease-cousin-of-common-cold-51

Poverty and inequity are major drivers of antimicrobial resistance. In developing countries they are linked to inadequate access to effective drugs, unregulated dispensing by unqualified staff and truncated therapy for reasons of cost. The widespread and frequently unnecessary use of antibiotics is also related to health system weaknesses, with poorly trained care providers and lack of suitable laboratory facilities frequently resulting in inappropriate treatment.

For example, because of limited capacity to obtain a bacteriological diagnosis of typhoid fever, treatment is often initiated with ineffective antibiotics and changed to second line therapy following clinical treatment failure. In other instances, physicians may choose to initiate treatment unnecessarily with second line antibiotics. Sometimes alternative antibiotics may not be available at all.

Resistant bacteria are often more virulent, leading to more severe illness. Multidrug-resistant (MDR) typhoid, for example, is associated with greater clinical severity of illness and more complications than the non-resistant form of the disease. So increasing antibiotic resistance is associated with higher economic burden on health systems from the combination of higher rates of complications and enhanced health care costs.

All of the previous information was provided by:
http://www.scidev.net/en/health/antibiotic-resistance/opinions/reducing-antibiotics-not-enough-to-stem-resistance.html

As future nurses creativity is something we must utilize to help patients not only understand how to use their medicines but also help them feel comfortable to know that they are using their medicines in the right way. Something creative I found are these
bookmarks
Antibiotic safety bookmark

This is an easy creative way to inform people about antibiotic misuse. If you want to help in the fight against resistant bacteria then please pass these bookmarks on!

“We have to look at how the bacteria actually live and survive rather than just shooting more bullets.” (The Washington Post)

Scientists are now developing methods to learn how to target bacteria to learn where they live and how they develop resistance to drugs. They are researching how to break up bio films around the bacteria. It is the bio films that allow the bacteria to activate mechanisms against antibiotic drugs. The increase in antibiotic resistant bacteria is mainly due to evolution as the bacteria were able to mutate making common antibiotics no match for many bacterial infections. “Whenever antibiotics are used, there is selective pressure for resistance to occur. It builds upon itself. More and more organisms develop resistance to more and more drugs,” says Joe Cranston, Ph.D., director of the department of drug policy and standards at the American Medical Association in Chicago. Antibiotic resistance may be inevitable but preventing misuse of antibiotics may slow it. Also if new studies prevail such as the studies being conducted to see how bio films develop scientists may be able to target these bacteria rather than just making more drugs. Click here for more information on this new breakthrough. To learn more on how bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics you can read about it on the FDA’s website here.

Evolution of bacteria