Antibiotic Awareness | McFarland Clinic

Antibiotic Awareness | McFarland Clinic


Using antibiotics when they’re not needed
is not only unhelpful, but it can be harmful. One in five medication-related ER visits are
due to antibiotic side effects. Common side effects include rash, dizziness,
nausea, yeast infections and diarrhea. Antibiotics kill off all kinds of bacteria, even the good, healthy kind we like to
keep around, like in our gut. When those are gone this can lead to diarrhea,
and even something called C. Diff, which needs additional treatment. Antibiotics can also interact with multiple
prescription medications. The second reason this is important is that the majority of upper respiratory
infections are viral. Antibiotics often won’t help if it’s a
viral illness. Often times we hear people say they got better
toward the end of their cold while on an antibiotic, and generally this can just coincide with
the time it takes your body to fight off a viral infection anyway. The third and biggest reason to care about
this is antibiotic resistance, which means that the bacteria no longer respond to the
drugs designed to kill them. This can happen if the bacteria have
survived multiple rounds of antibiotics and have mutated along the way. This is becoming a global threat, and the
CDC has a large task force invested in this. There are over two million antibiotic-resistant
infections each year in the U.S., and over 23,000 people die each year from these infections. Minimizing exposure to antibiotics during
your life in general means that when you do need them, they’re more likely to actually
work.

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