October 05, 2012
When people get sick, they often ask, and sometimes expect, their physicians to prescribe antibiotics in hope of a ‘quick fix’. However, not all infections are caused by bacteria - some may be caused by viruses, and others by fungi. Because of this, not all infections benefit from antibiotics. In fact, they may do more harm than good in many situations.
Antibiotics are intended to treat bacterial infections, not viral or fungal. The common cold is the most frequent viral infection. The best medicine for a cold is to drink fluids and get plenty of rest. The use of antibiotics in this case will not make the cold go away faster.
According to an article in Modern Healthcare magazine, research is showing a ‘troubling, seasonal rise in antibiotic resistance – one that adds urgency to hospital efforts to combat the problem of resistance and resistant infections that can spread easily.’
“Every time a healthcare provider writes a prescription for an antibiotic for the flu or another viral infection it cannot cure, we quicken the pace to a future in which we will no longer be able to rely on antibiotics as treatments for common infections,” said Eili Klein and Ramanan Laxminarayan, who authored the Modern Healthcare article ‘Resistance Movement’.
“People suffering from the flu often ask their healthcare provider for an antibiotic, even though these drugs cannot kill the flu virus,” stated Priyanka Patel, Pharm. D., Director of Pharmacy at Kewanee Hospital.
Hospital administrators and public health officials can do their part by encouraging individuals – including doctors and other hospital employees – to get an annual flu shot.
“At Kewanee Hospital, flu shots are mandatory for all staff members and volunteers,” Patel added. “This helps to ensure the health and safety of our staff, as well as our patients and visitors.”
For more information on antibiotics or to schedule an appointment to receive your flu shot, contact Kewanee Hospital’s Family Health Clinic at 309.852.7700.
Priyanka Patel, Pharm. D., Director of Pharmacy at Kewanee Hospital