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20-Mar-12 9:00 AM  CST  

The Deadly Costs of Antibiotic Overuse 

 
Many doctors tend to prescribe antibiotics for just about any illness or condition these days.  The problem with prescribing antibiotics frequently is that patients can become immune or resistant to the antibiotic and it will not work as it should on the most common of infections or bacteria.  The result of these antibiotics not working due to resistance can be deadly.  Patients can also be infected with hard to treat pathogens where typical antibiotic drugs will not work.  Drug resistant pathogens can be found in the food we eat.  In an article from CBS news, Michelle Castillo reports that a recent study showed 47 percent of meat sampled from five United States cities in 2011 had drug resistant staph bacteria, or MRSA. 
 
Pharmacy Technicians who work in hospitals will want to be aware of another type of deadly pathogen – bacteria found in hospitals.  This type of bacteria in hospitals can be found everywhere despite efforts to keep bacteria and infection at bay.  “Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill,” said World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan.  “We are losing our first-line antimicrobials.  Replacement treatments are more costly, more toxic, need much longer durations of treatment, and may require treatment in intensive care units,” also said Chan.
 
To help in the issue of antibiotic overuse the FDA announced in January that it is restricting amounts of cephalosporin given to cattle and livestock.  In addition to limiting the amount of antibiotics in the foods we eat, doctors should remember to prescribe antibiotic medications only when appropriate and necessary as this helps cut down on the serious problem of antibiotic overuse. 
 
Sources: 
1.  Castillo, Michelle.  “WHO:  Antibiotic overuse so prevalent scrapped knee could be deadly.”  CBS News.  16 Mar 2012.  Date of Access:  19 Mar 2012.   http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57398949-10391704/who-antibiotic-overuse-so-prevalent-scraped-knee-could-be-deadly/
 
2.  Jaslow, Ryan.  “Sinus infections not cured with antibiotics, study suggests.” 
 
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For additional information on this News article, please contact:

Jennifer O'Reilly

Source: NPTAnews
http://www.pharmacytechnician.org

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