Do You Really Need That Antibiotic?

02.24.2016

When patients head to the doctor to be treated for a cold, strep throat or UTI, they often expect to be prescribed an antibiotic as a quick fix to get better – even if the antibiotic is unnecessary. And for decades, doctors have obliged in an effort to comfort their patients. Unfortunately, this collective overuse of antibiotics by modern society has resulted in a very big problem: antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The Dangerous Effects of Antibiotic Overuse

Pill Medicine white blue and brown pills lying with the medicine bottle isolated on whiteWhen antibiotics are misused or overused for infections that may otherwise resolve naturally, the drugs become less effective as superbugs develop resistance to them. In addition, taking antibiotics unnecessarily weakens the immune system because the body stops developing antibodies, making an individual more susceptible to viruses and bacteria.

The overuse of antibiotics has caused a global explosion of antibiotic resistance that increasingly leads to death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that in the United States, more than two million people are sickened every year with antibiotic-resistant infections, with at least 23,000 deaths occurring as a result. By 2050, antibiotic resistance could cost the world a projected 10 million lives every year.

The loss of effective antibiotics makes it more difficult for healthcare professionals to fight infectious disease and manage infections in patients whose immune systems are compromised or who undergo major surgery. When these treatment options are ineffective or unavailable, healthcare providers must resort to using antibiotics that are less effective, more toxic to the patient and/or more expensive.

How RediClinic Fights Antibiotic Resistance

The board-certified clinicians at all RediClinic locations carefully adhere to treatment protocols in line with the latest proven best practices accepted by the CDC and the medical community. This means that if you are healthy and you develop an illness, you may be advised to delay antibiotics in order to allow your body to fight off an infection naturally. In other cases, the most effective treatment does not involve antibiotics.

Get Healthy & Live Healthy

If you are experiencing the symptoms of an illness, visit your nearest RediClinic walk-in clinic. Our board-certified clinicians can help you choose the best course of action for you, and for our communities. We provide both acute-episodic and preventive care, so you have access to the services you need whether you want to get healthy or live healthy.

Find the RediClinic walk-in clinic locations near you.