LUBBOCK, Texas — Antibiotics are very important to keep us healthy.
But studies show one out of every three people are taking antibiotics and they don’t actually need them.
“It’s not always easy to differentiate between bacterial and viral infection so when there is a doubt a physician will lean toward prescribing antibiotics you know better safe than sorry,” explained Dr. Prakash Shrestha, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Covenant Medical Center.
But this could become a problem down the line especially if antibiotics are overused.
That person can become resistant to antibiotics.
“Some of the bacteria might die but some will survive and multiply,” Dr. Shrestha explained. “They come up with resistance so the patient gets infected next time they need an antibiotic and the same antibiotic doesn’t work.”
“We’re using antibiotics when we don’t really need to and that would be fine if there were no unintended consequences,” said Larry Pineda, Clinical Pharmacist at Covenant Health.
Dr. Shrestha and Pineda says this isn’t a new problem, but it could become a big problem if doctors and patients aren’t careful.
“So if we don’t control the way we’re prescribing right now the way this bacteria is emerging I see a scary picture down the line,” Dr. Shrestha said.
That’s why education by both doctors and patients is key.
“One of the things we try to do here at Covenant is provide that patient education for anyone who is going home with antibiotics and really educating on when to take them, how to take them appropriately before they are discharged home,” Pineda said.