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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Too Many Antibiotics Can Make You Drug-Resistant -- With Fatal Consequences!

Antibiotics are important drugs that are used to treat infections caused by bacteria and prevent the spread of disease. They are meant to kill bacteria, not viruses. Unfortunately, the overuse of antibiotics to treat viruses is now causing these antibiotics to become less and less effective in treating certain strains of bacteria. This is referred to as drug resistance, and it is dangerous. How?

The danger of drug resistance

Antibiotics can effectively treat bacteria, but not viruses. When antibiotics continue to be used to treat viruses, two things happen. First, they have no effect on viruses. Second, the antibiotic will kill the healthy bacteria, the bacteria that is not causing the illness but is actually beneficial. This creates antibiotic-resistant properties in harmless bacteria that can be shared with other bacteria, leading to superbugs that can't be controlled with any antibiotics. One example is MRSA, a highly infectious type of staph bacteria that's become resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections.

How to avoid drug resistance

The best practice is to avoid taking antibiotics for viruses, such as colds, flu, coughs, stomach flu, ear infections and sore throats. If, however, these symptoms turn into bacterial infections, antibiotics would be an appropriate treatment. An example is a sore throat that can turn into strep, which is bacterial. It is important to wait until the test returns positive before administering antibiotics.

Other ways to protect yourself

Make sure you follow instructions and taking antibiotics properly. This means taking all the medication. If you stop when feel better, chances are you are going to get sick again and require more antibiotics. This can lead to drug resistance. Also, do NOT self medicate. Never use old drugs thinking you can cure yourself.

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