by Julie Fidler, Natural Society:
Many people in the United States hang on to leftover antibiotics and say that if they got sick, they’d use them without going to the doctor, a new study finds.
The findings are so problematic, it’s hard to even know where to begin. However, one of the main concerns is that this practice leads people to take the drugs when they might not need them, which may further the spread of resistance to antibiotics.
Dr. Larissa Grigoryan, an instructor of family and community medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, said in a statement:
“When people self-diagnose and self-prescribe antibiotics, it is likely that the therapy is unnecessary, because most often, these are upper-respiratory infections that are mostly caused by viruses.”
Antibiotics do not kill viruses.
Moreover, if someone has “leftover” antibiotics, it means they didn’t take the full course prescribed to them, which may also further the spread of antibiotic resistance.
And not all antibiotics were created equal. If you choose to take leftover drugs, and you actually do have a bacterial infection, you might not be taking the right type of antibiotic to treat it.
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