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