13 Nov

Do You Really Need an Antibiotic?

You have a cough, sore throat and a headache. You call your doctor for an antibiotic, but is it really the right medicine? Chances are, the answer is "No".

Antibiotics have become one of the most misused medications available. The overuse is becoming a big problem which is leading to resistance of antibiotics. The dangers of resistance include longer lasting illnesses, more visits to the doctor, longer hospital stays, the need for more costly treatments, and even the inability to treat some infections.

Antibiotics are the best medication we have to fight bacterial infections. Too often antibiotics are given for things that will not make you better. Viral infections like acute bronchitis, colds, influenza, gastroenteritis (stomach flu), and most coughs and sore throats will not get better with antibiotics. It is best to treat the individual symptoms. Gargle with warm salt water for a sore throat. Use a saline nasal spray for a stuffy nose. Increase your fluids and get plenty of rest. There are many home remedies that will work well to alleviate your symptoms. Remember to give your body time to get better--it won't get better instantly.

If your symptoms are severe or you have chronic health conditions like asthma, COPD or CHF, please schedule an appointment.