Antibiotic Misuse and Public Misunderstanding

by Michael Dorausch, D.C.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is hoping to cut down on the use of unnecessary antibiotics by mandating warning labels on prescription packaging, according to recent news reports. The inappropriate use of antibiotics has been a major contributor to the problem of drug-resistant infections worldwide.

According to several articles, antibiotic packaging will soon bear a “big new warning” that states that the overuse of antibiotics makes them less effective. Oftentimes, according to news reports, medical doctors give antibiotics to children suffering for earaches caused by viruses, or adults suffering from colds.

Even though antibiotics reportedly have no effect on viruses, the U.S. government estimates that half of the 100 million antibiotic prescriptions written each year are unnecessary. The FDA also wants doctors to be teaching patients about the appropriate use of antibiotics. For instance, individuals should not be sharing prescribed pills with friends and family.

Another recent article involves a new study that has reportedly uncovered “two troubling trends” involving the use of antibiotics. According to the article, not only are medical doctors still over prescribing antibiotics, but patterns of prescribing these drugs vary greatly depending on geography and other factors, such as the prescribing of more expensive and powerful drugs.

According to the articles and the surveys, the general public mistakenly believes that antibiotics are effective in treating viruses such as colds, flu, and viral ear infections. A press release from the Save Antibiotic Strength New York Coalition (SASNY) states, “antibiotic resistance is a much more significant problem than most people realize.”

Ultimately, your health and the health of your family, is your responsibility. Invest the time and become better educated about the many misconceptions involving antibiotics and their use/abuse.

MSNBC: Antibiotics to carry warning labels – FDA hopes to cut down on unnecessary prescriptions
Sun Times: Antibiotics will get labels warning against misuse
Health Central: Doctors Still Prescribing Too Many Antibiotics
Yahoo! News: New Survey Shows One-Third of Americans Use Antibiotics Inappropriately @ 12:51 pm | Article ID: 1045601469