antibiotic resistance

Help Prevent Antibiotic Resistance

Hey there Guys. Today I wanted to highlight an important issue that is facing medicine today: antibiotic resistance.

Currently my home town Melbourne is in the middle of flu epidemic. Each day I am seeing many people all in different stages of this viral illness. One of the most frequent requests is “Can you give me antibiotics?”.

Sadly in many of these cases these infections are viral making antibiotics useless to treat the problem. Prescribing antibiotics in these cases not only don’t help but can also increase the risk of antibiotic resistance.

What is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance is an increasing trend where various bacterial infections are becoming harder and harder to treat due to mutations in their genes that make them immune to particular antibiotics.

“Super bugs” such as MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is one example of a bug that is resistant to many antibiotics causing significant illness that is very difficult to treat.

The reasons these bugs exist is due to many factors that include prescription of antibiotics when not indicated and also incomplete treatment with antibiotics.

What can we do to prevent antibiotic resistance?

NPS MedicineWise an Australian medical information service suggests the following guides to help reduce antibiotic resistance.

  • understanding that most people don’t need antibiotics for colds and flu because they are caused by viruses
  • telling your doctor you only want an antibiotic if it is really necessary
  • taking the right dose of your antibiotic at the right time, as prescribed by your doctor
  • taking your antibiotics for as long as your doctor tells you to
  • taking simple steps to avoid infections and prevent them from spreading.

Remember that antibiotics are a specific treatment for bacterial infections. While many people will encourage seeing a doctor for antibiotics, remember that antibiotics are not necessarily the best treatment for some illnesses.

Talk with your doctor about what the best course of action may be for your needs.

Yours in great health.

Dr George

Learn more about antibiotic resistance and how you can help prevent this problem but visiting NPS MedicineWise today.

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