During the winter months, many of us suffer from a variety of colds and viruses. Influenza usually makes the rounds, and upper respiratory infections leave many people drained from coughing and lack of sleep. While some rely on home remedies to deal with the discomforts of being sick, others seek help from over the counter and prescriptions medications. Antibiotics used to be the go-to medicine anytime anyone got sick, but recent studies indicate that antibiotics may sometimes do more harm than good. Overprescribed medications have become a major problem in the United States, and antibiotics are one of the leading types of medication that are often overused. Taking antibiotics improperly not only will not help you get better, but taking too many antibiotics can have dangerous repercussions in the long run.
Antibiotics: Not Always The Answer
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibiotics are not always the answer for when you are feeling under the weather. While antibiotics fight bacterial infections, such as strep throat, urinary tract infections, and whooping cough, the CDC states that taking antibiotics does not help illnesses such as colds, the flu, upper respiratory infections, or sinus and ear infections. The best remedies to fight a virus include the following tips:
- Drink an increased amount of fluids
- Get plenty of rest
- Use a vaporizer or saline spray for congestion
- Use sore throat spray or lozenges for itchy, scratchy throats
- Take over-the-counter medicine to reduce body aches, pain, and fever
If you think you have the flu, there are tests your doctor can perform to diagnose it, and antiviral flu medicines that can be prescribed.
The Misuse of Antibiotics
Antibiotics have long been hailed as a wonder drug, and no doubt they have saved countless lives, prevented the spread of diseases, and reduced suffering for millions of people. At the same time, the Mayo Clinic advises that the misuse of antibiotic medication can result in major problems that affect us all. Overuse of antibiotics results in resistance to its many benefits and the development of stronger, more virulent bacteria. Antibiotic resistance is a serious public health concern, and may result in ‘superbugs’ that are immune to conventional treatments. Antibiotics also attack the good bacteria in our bodies that help aid our digestion and provide immunities. Killing this good bacteria can result in increased digestive disorders, as well as an increase in illnesses in general.
Despite increased awareness of the dangers of over prescribing antibiotics, the overuse of penicillin, ampicillin, and other antibiotics continues to be a problem. The Mayo Clinic states that antibiotics are often over prescribed for the following reasons:
- People take antibiotics left over from previous prescriptions
- Doctors feel pressured to use antibiotics for conditions that do not warrant it
- Doctors prescribe antibiotics without actually testing for bacterial infection
Reach Out to Us for Help
If you or someone you care about is suffering the negative effects of being overprescribed medications such as antibiotics, contact an experienced South Carolina medical malpractice attorney right away. At Anastopoulo Law Firm we can help you to get the compensation you need to recover while holding responsible parties accountable for their actions. Contact us today for assistance.