- Most coughs and bronchitis
- Sore throats (except for those resulting from strep throat)
What you need to know: Antibiotics
Overuse of antibiotics can not only cause resistance but in the end can potentially do more harm than good. The rates of antibiotic prescription levels are disturbing. Center of Disease Control Researchers found that 833 antibiotic prescriptions were prescribed for every 1,000 people when conducting a new study analyzing a national prescription drug database for 2010.1 Consequently, bacteria have increasingly gained the power to shrug off antibiotics. Resistances to antibiotics are emerging as microorganisms are failing to respond to conventional treatment, resulting in prolonged illness, greater risk of death and higher costs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking at least 20 strains of resistant bacteria.1 One of the most common diagnoses given at a doctor’s office is the upper respiratory infection (URI). It accounts for up to 70% of all antibiotics dispensed.2 However, according to Dr. Carol Kauffman, “most URIs are not caused by the bacteria that antibiotics are designed to fight, they are caused by fungi. So, unless a secondary, bacterial infection presents itself most URIs do not require the use of antibiotics”.2 While antibiotics are often prescribed to treat bacterial infections, they are not effective against viral infections. Viral infections that should not be treated with antibiotics include:
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