Antibiotics saved my life when I had pneumonia as a kid and not too long ago when I had cellulitis. Now I hear antibiotic resistance is threatening to put us back into the pre-antibiotic era. How’s that possible?
Among the most worrisome drug-resistant bacteria are salmonella, E-coli, Y-pestis, and shigella (they’re enterobacteriaceae); C. difficile and gonorrhea.
What can you do to help stem the tide of resistant bacteria? If you’re prescribed an antibiotic, ask why. One study found 25 per cent of prescriptions (mostly for broad-spectrum antibiotics) are for a condition that that the medication can’t treat. That’s a sure route for building up resistant bacteria. And don’t pressure your doctor for an antibiotic when it won’t help. Among the conditions most commonly treated with antibiotics when they are in fact caused by viruses and can’t be knocked out by the meds: cold, flu, most coughs and bronchitis, sore throats (except for strep) and some ear infections.
When you do take antibiotics make sure to take the full dose as directed. In addition, don’t use antibacterial soaps or antibacterial disinfectants. The FDA has finally ordered them removed from soaps. The FDA says they do little or nothing to make soap work any better and said the industry has failed to prove they’re safe. “Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.” –Health, Sept 2, 2016