Thursday, November 15, 2012


Conquering antibiotic-resistant bacteria by knowing the facts

Conquering antibiotic-resistant bacteria by knowing the facts

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention featured awareness of unnecessary antibiotic use on November 13, 2012 on their website as a kick off to their “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week.” Inappropriate use continues to be a major problem in the U.S. and continues to be problem contributing to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Medline Plus presented results of a poll on November 13, 2012 indicating 90 percent of Americans know antibiotics treat bacterial infection, but 36 percent incorrectly think these drugs eradicate viral infections like the flu or common cold. An important factor related to this issue involves antibiotic-resistant superbugs such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). About 60,000 people die in the U.S. every year from drug-resistant infections. Taking antibiotics when unnecessary leads to the bacteria becoming resistance to the drug. The bacteria then mutate into superbugs meaning that the microorganism can withstand the effects of the antibiotic. The bacteria lives and needs a stronger antibiotic to kill it. Unfortunately, drug development evolves slowly and individuals die because no drug will kill the stronger bacteria.
Medscape Medical News reported good news on the rate of antibiotic prescriptions in the U.S. decreased 17 percent between 1999 and 2010. However, some states still overprescribe. Seven states in the south prescribing antibiotics more than double the rate of other states in the nation. The seven states in order of most prescriptions of antibiotics filled per 1000 population include Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Arkansas. On the flip side, the states ranked starting with the lowest prescriptions filled include Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and New Hampshire.
According to Science Daily, research shows overuse of antibiotic hastens the development of bacteria resistant to drugs. Antibiotic use began in the 1930s, but bacteria resistance to the antibiotics began in the 1990s. People believed that the drugs worked so well and request their use inappropriate.
What can consumers do to help with the problem of antibiotic overuse? Mayo Clinic gives advice on best actions to take. First, do not demand antibiotics from your healthcare provider. The provider must decide what is best for the patient. Second, do not take antibiotics prescribed for another person. Consuming the wrong medicine can delay appropriate treatment and contribute to bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Third, when antibiotics are prescribed, do not skip doses, do not save any pills for the next time you are sick and take all the pills. Consumers can help with antibiotic use and help solve the problem of bacteria-resistance to antibiotics.

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