Consequences of Excessive Antibiotic Use
“Antibiotics have saved many lives over the past 45 years. We are truly fortunate to have them available for serious bacterial infections. Unfortunately, antibiotics are excessively prescribed, especially to children. The Center for Disease Control estimates that of the 235 million doses of antibiotics given each year, between 20 and 50 percent are unnecessary.”
Points to Consider
Antibiotics may be absolutely necessary in certain situations, such as a life-threatening infection or when serious complications are present.
Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria; they have next to no value in treating viral infections like colds, coughs, runny noses or flu.
Antibiotics do not just go after the pathogenic or “bad” bacteria. They also indiscriminately destroy the beneficial bacteria your body needs to protect itself from non-bacterial infections. If you use antibiotics, ask your health care provider what steps you can take to maintain the strength of your immune system and minimize side effects.
Antibiotics address symptoms; the root cause of an infection needs to be addressed for healing to occur.
Improper use of antibiotics has caused several of these drugs to become impotent in fighting against some serious infectious diseases. To maintain the potency of the remaining antibiotics in our pharmaceutical arsenal, consider using antibiotics only for serious infections.
Here are some points to consider, when considering using antibiotics.
Note: This article was excerpted and adapted from “The Consequences of Excessive Antibiotic Use,” by Jane Sheppard.
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