WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE ANTIBIOTICS AWARE?
Antibiotics have been proven to save lives. When a patient needs antibiotics, the benefits outweigh the risks of side effects or antibiotic resistance. When antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and the side effects could hurt you. Antibiotic resistance is not only a threat unique to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but also a global problem. Global reports stated antibiotic resistance causes 700,000 deaths per year globally – without action, the death toll could reach 10 million by 2050.
WHAT DO ANTIBIOTICS TREAT?
Antibiotics are only needed for treating certain infections caused by bacteria. They do not work on viruses. Antibiotics are critical tools for treating common infections, such as pneumonia, and for life-threatening conditions including sepsis, the body’s extreme response to an infection.
WHY DOES TAKING ANTIBIOTICS LEAD TO ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE?
Any time antibiotics are used; they can cause side effects and lead to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent threats to the public’s health. Always remember:
- Antibiotic resistance does not mean the body is becoming resistant to antibiotics; it is that bacteria have become resistant to the antibiotics designed to kill them.
- When bacteria become resistant, antibiotics cannot fight them, and the bacteria multiply.
- Some resistant bacteria can be harder to treat and can spread to other people.
WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY?
- Do not pressure your doctor to prescribe you an antibiotic. He or she will know best how to treat your medical ailment. Nine times out of ten, you will not need an antibiotic to treat a medical ailment.
- Become more involved in your health and seek more information on what antibiotics are and what their use is intended for. Antibiotics only kill bacteria, not viruses.
- Use antibiotics only as prescribed by your doctor. Complete the course of antibiotics as instructed by your doctor.
- Do not save antibiotics for the next time you may be ill. Only Doctors are qualified to make a proper diagnosis. Preferably, keep visiting your Family Medicine Consultant as he or she will know your medical history best.
- Do not share remaining antibiotics you may have at home with anyone.
- Do not self-diagnose. Instead visit a Family Medicine Consultant, who will act as your health champion, and will diagnose you properly.
- Instead of saving antibiotics, dispose of them adequately by wasting through a trusted care provider in the UAE.
- Stay healthy and keep others healthy by:
- Cleaning hands
- Covering coughs
- Staying home when sick
- Getting the recommended vaccines by your doctor such as the flu vaccine
© Copyright 2017 Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. All rights reserved.
This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of Mubadala Healthcare, and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.