CDC’s Latest Guidelines Highlight Efforts to Stop Overuse of Antibiotics

CDC’s Latest Guidelines Highlight Efforts to Stop Overuse of Antibiotics

Latest guidelines released from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Physicians move ahead of simple statements that antibiotics don't work for viruses like the common cold or the flu. The guidelines stress how doctors decide giving antibiotics to some of the common respiratory complaints. During the cold season, it’s very common to talk about common cough and cold along with the conditions of asthma, which are very common among people.

And prescribing antibiotics for most of the common respiratory complaints is not viable. Despite of years of warnings, doctors still prescribe antibiotics for acute respiratory infections even though most are caused by viruses that those drugs cannot help. The guidelines stress the facts and provide new tips on how to avoid unnecessary antibiotics for these common complaints and withstand the needs of the patient who demands more than antibiotics.

Dr. Wayne J. Riley, an internal medicine professor at Vanderbilt University and the President of the American College of Physicians, said antibiotics are terrific. There is nothing denying the fact that antibiotics work well in really bad conditions. But, the hard fact to keep in mind is we need to be more cautious and judicious in the way we use them. Officials suggest that rather than sending patients off with little advice about what to do while their bodies fight off a virus, patients should be advised to prescribe instead for some over-the-counter or home remedies that just might ease the cough or the pain.

According to the CDC, antibiotics are losing their effectiveness, and inappropriate prescribing is one factor. Repeated exposure can lead germs to become resistant to the drugs. The CDC estimates that drug-resistant bacteria cause 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year in the U.S. The CDC states that antibiotics are implicated in 1 of 5 emergency-room visits for bad drug reactions.