Adena Health Focus November 26, 2018

Adena Pharmacist Advises Patients and Families to be Antibiotics Aware

Antibiotics can save lives, but they aren’t always the answer when you are sick. 

Did you know Antibiotic resistance harmfully impacts the health of millions of hospitalized patients every year? 

As flu and cold season is in full swing, Adena Heath System Pharmacist Ken Knipp is encouraging patients to be antibiotics aware. 

“Antibiotics are only needed for treating certain infections caused by bacteria such as strep throat or urinary tract infections.” Knipp said. “Viral illnesses such as the common cold or the flu cannot be treated with antibiotics.”

During U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week and throughout the year, Adena promotes Be Antibiotics Aware, an educational effort lead by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to raise awareness about the importance of safe antibiotic use.

The Be Antibiotics Aware initiative educates the public about when antibiotics are needed, when they are not, how to take antibiotics appropriately, and potential side effects of antibiotics.

Common viral infections that don't benefit from antibiotic treatment include:

  • Cold
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Bronchitis
  • Most coughs
  • Some ear infections
  • Some sinus infections
  • Stomach flu

 Taking an antibiotic for a viral infection:

  • Won't cure the infection
  • Won't keep other people from getting sick
  • Won't help you or your child feel better
  • May cause unnecessary and harmful side effects
  • Promotes antibiotic resistance

 Patients are encouraged to:

  • Know the facts about antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work on viruses, such as those that cause colds, flu, bronchitis, or runny noses, even if the mucus is thick, yellow, or green. When antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and the side effects could still hurt you.
  • If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. It's tempting to stop taking an antibiotic as soon as you feel better. But the full treatment is necessary to kill the disease causing bacteria. Failure to take an antibiotic as prescribed can result in the need to resume treatment later and may promote the spread of the bacteria. 
  • Do your best to stay healthy and keep others healthy by cleaning hands, covering coughs, staying home when sick, and getting recommended vaccines, such as the flu vaccine.

When you are feeling sick, talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the best way to feel better.

Click here for more information on Be Antibiotics Aware call the Adena Regional Medical Center Pharmacy at 740-779-8760.