Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the world's most pressing health problems. This is due to overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Knowing when and when not to take antibiotics is the first step towards proper antibiotic use.
- Antibiotics fight against bacteria and not viruses. Colds, flu, most sore throats, and some sinus / ear infections are caused by viruses, rendering antibiotics useless when attempting to treat these common respiratory infections.
- Antibiotics can kill healthy bacteria that protect the body from more dangerous bacteria, like C. difficile.
- One out of five Department of Emergency Medicine visits for adverse drug events involve antibiotics. Antibiotics are the most common cause of emergency visits for adverse drug events in children under 18 years old.