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Antibiotic Resistance And Your Health

Throughout the past decade, there have been ongoing campaigns to stop medical practices of unnecessarily prescribing antibiotics. Because of overuse, many of the bacteria that antibiotics were designed to fight have been mutating and are now antibiotic resistant.

Childhood ear infections, gonorrhea and tuberculosis are just a few of the growing number of antibiotic resistant illnesses. There currently is not one single effective medical treatment for any of these and many other health problems.

Even though the overall use of antibiotics has slightly declined, the Annals of Internal Medicine reports that more and more doctors are prescribing broad spectrum antibiotic drugs. Just like overuse of antibiotics which fight specific types of bacteria can cause those germs to become resistant to the drug, the overuse of broad spectrum antibiotics can cause bacteria to become resistant to these far more powerful drugs. And the price for a week’s supply of broad spectrum antibiotics is about $50.00 compared to $5.00 a week for a narrow spectrum antibiotic.

To make matters worse, nearly 25% of broad spectrum antibiotics are prescribed for people suffering from a common cold or some other virus which actually can’t be cured with any kind of antibiotic. The facts are that quite often these highly expensive strong drugs don’t provide any relief from the illness they’re prescribed for.

“Using these agents when they are not indicated, reduces their effectiveness when they are needed to treat other infections,” according to an editorial by Dr. Richard E. Besser of the Center For Disease Control and Prevention. “We must consider these drugs as precious, limited resources because for many antibacterial agents, once resistance becomes prevalent in the community, there can be no turning back.”

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