Antibiotic use — stay smart

Feb 18, 2020 | Joey Keillor | @joeykeillor | Comments (2)

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 4

By improving antibiotic use, the goal is to improve health and safety outcomes on a broad scale. This process is known as antibiotic stewardship. Many of the steps needed to effectively manage antibiotic use are the responsibility of health care professionals and health care facilities.

You as a healthcare consumer play an important role. By being aware of the risks and limitations of antibiotics and practicing responsible antibiotic use, you can ensure the best outcome for you, your loved ones and others.

What can you do to practice safe antibiotic use? Here are a few key suggestions:

  • Talk to your doctor about when antibiotics will and won’t help.
  • Ask about antibiotic resistance.
  • Ask what side effects might occur.
  • Take antibiotics only when prescribed and exactly as prescribed.
  • Finish the entire course of the antibiotic. Don’t save for later use or share the drug with someone else.
  • Report any side effects from the antibiotic, especially severe diarrhea, as this may require immediate treatment.
  • Talk to your doctor about ways to relieve your symptoms in lieu of antibiotic treatment.
  • Don’t acquire antibiotics without a prescription. This includes online purchases and purchases made in foreign countries.
  • Stay healthy and keep others healthy by washing hands, covering coughs, staying home when sick, and getting recommended vaccinations.
  • Handle food safely, including cooking meats thoroughly and washing produce before eating.

Want more articles like this? Subscribe to the Health Letter.


Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Aging & Health: Take Charge blog.

Am a bit late to comment on this and perhaps a better site to do it, but after a long life with some medical issues I would really like to count the number of antibiotics I have taken over my life. Before internet we went to Dr. and were given antibiotics and took them, seemed to get better and got on with life til the next time. To cut long story short, then we went through hearing about patients requesting and taking far too many antibiotics: I never asked for them, it was the doctor's decisions. Over the past few years I have taken antibiotics only later to get copies of the lab report, say for UITs, only to find out I didn't have infection.
In 2016 was given Norflox without even a Lab test and ended up with Peripheral Neuropathy. I realize antibiotics have saved thousands if not millions of lives worldwide but are handed out like candy! Recently I was prescribed antibiotic for strep throat and Lab report said I didnt have it.
Also TODAY read a USA report on the antibiotic * Azithromycin * and its very scary.

Years ago we never questioned, and sometimes still don't, what medication the dr is giving us and why , especially when they are so busy with covid etc., or we go to a Clinic, and I feel its doubly important now to question why being given it and also isn't it up to the doctor to tell us the risks and side effects why do we have to ask? but seems they rely on the pharmacist, who is way too busy and in any case, cant go against what the dr. prescribed, right?…. and now we have the Internet…
I have antibiotics I picked up left unopened after reading the consequences and other choices or remedies to try first! Of course life or death we will take what will keep us alive but after given 6 antibiotics for UTis in 5 months in 2018 and then getting C.Diff, on top of IBS-D had already, and now fecal incontinence for rest of my life, I sooo wish I had questioned the Dr. and this was all over the phone!!
PLEASE read what Joey says, wish I had done this, starting many years ago. Thanks, J.


p.s. Sorry read further and this report is 2020 but presume it is still factual, if not please let me know… but received it today!! Talk about information overload!!! J.

Antibiotic Azithromycin Linked to Death From Cardiovascular Causes
Within 5 days of taking azithromycin, patients are more than twice as likely to die from all causes as people who take another commonly prescribed antibiotic, amoxicillin, a U.S. study suggests.
Lisa Rapaport
By Lisa Rapaport
Last Updated: July 13, 2020

Please sign in or register to post a reply.