Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Yet another medical related post...

Yeah, I know I said I wouldn't gross y'all out with more medical related posts--but this is making national news headlines and it's a cause close to my heart. So for the 4-5 of you that read my blog, here I am getting up on my soapbox to make the following public service announcement:

Stop abusing antibiotics!!!

There's a drug resistant bacterium spreading--a "superbug" they call it--and it's killing people. More than the AIDS virus, even, No, this is not the apocalypse--it's the result of a public who has been brought up to believe that there's a pill to cure anything that ails you and a spineless medical community whose over prescribing of pills amounts to medical malpractice.

It's not all our fault--after all, aren't there a million commercial pushing this pill to lower your cholesterol, another one to lose weight, another one to lower blood pressure, etc.? So when we get the sniffles or come down with a nasty cold or influenza of course we head off to the doctor for a prescription. And that's the problem...

Here are the facts:

1. Antibiotics are for INFECTIONS. They do nothing for colds or the flu which are caused by VIRUSES. Do not ask a doctor to prescribe antibiotics if you do not have an infection. Doing so will render the drug less and less effective.

2. If you are taking antibiotics for an infection, take the fully prescribed dosage. Do not stop taking the drugs if you start feeling better. The residual infection in your body could mutate into a new bacterium which will now be resistant to whatever antibiotic you were taking.

3. Discard/do not use leftover prescriptions to self-treat or save money. You may be using the wrong antibiotic to treat your infection or the prescription may have expired and be less effective in fighting the infection--which again will increase the probability of the bacterium becoming resistant.

The CDC has been urging physicians for years to stop over prescribing antibiotics. But if they won't grow a spine, it's up to patients to become informed--as consumers and people responsible for their own well-being. Suck it up, people. If you have a cold or the flu, chicken soup, NyQuil and plenty of sleep are the cure--not a prescription.

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