The FDA is urging consumers to "get smart" about antibiotic use, to help combat antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria adapt to reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics, and this is caused by misuse and overuse of antibiotics.
What happens when antibiotics are misused, leading to antibiotic resistance?
- longer illnesses
- more complicated illnesses
- more doctor visits
- the use of stronger and more expensive drugs
- more deaths caused by bacterial infections
According to the FDA warning to the public, "examples of the types of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics include the species that cause skin infections, meningitis, sexually transmitted diseases and respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia."
The FDA offers the following tips for using antibiotics properly:
- Don’t skip doses and take your medicine as prescribed. Antibiotics are most effective when taken as prescribed.
- Don’t save antibiotics. The drug is meant for a particular infection at that time. Don’t use leftover medicine. Taking the wrong drug can delay the appropriate treatment and your infection might get worse.
- Don’t take antibiotics prescribed for others. Only a health care professional can determine the right treatment for your infection.
Click here for more information from the FDA.
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