Health Tip: Why Antibiotic Resistance Is Serious

-- Antibiotic resistance occurs when a bacterium mutates and becomes immune to the effects of a specific antibiotic.

You can help prevent antibiotic resistance by taking an antibiotic regimen only when necessary. Remember that antibiotics don't work against viral infections such as a cold or the flu.

If you do begin taking an antibiotic, you should never skip a dose. Also, you should finish the entire amount that your doctor has prescribed, despite the fact that you might be feeling better.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says antibiotic-resistant bacteria are dangerous because:

  • It may be difficult to find a medication that kills the bacteria.
  • Resistant bacteria tend to spread more quickly between families and within communities.
  • Infections become more difficult and more expensive to treat.
  • People may die from a resistant infection before it can be treated successfully.

Posted: November 2011


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