The Dos and Don’ts for Taking Antibiotics

by quick show of hands how many of you

have asked your doctor for an antibiotic

when you felt ill so it's very common

here's the problem if you take

antibiotics when you don't need them you

may not be able to fight infections when

it matters the most

dr. Freda lewis-hall the chief medical

officer of Pfizer is back we're going to

help explain what superbugs are and why

they can be so very dangerous welcome

back talking about super bugs are

bacteria that are resistant to many of

the commonly used antibiotics they can

cause untreatable infections and here's

how so antibiotics are medicines that

are designed to kill off the bad

bacteria that caused many illnesses that

we're familiar with bacterial pneumonia

urinary tract infections whooping cough

tuberculosis now the problem arises when

we use antibiotics we either overuse

them we use them improperly or we use

them to treat things that are not caused

by bacteria like colds and the flu and

using them at this time allows the

bacteria to adapt and to become

resistant to the antibiotics and I want

to show everyone what happens when

antibiotics work what do they do they

attack bacteria they destroy the

bacteria now if you have bacteria that

are resistant to that antibiotic like

you're seeing here with these orange

bacteria they can quickly spread and

proliferate that of course can make it

harder and harder for antibiotics to

treat infections each year here in the

u.s. at least 23,000 people die from

antibiotic resistant infections and

nearly 2 million people get serious

infections that are resistant to

antibiotics designed to treat those very

infections I talk about this subject all

the time on the show there's a real

danger when it comes to overusing

antibiotics my son Carlos is a very

happy healthy 12 year old he

participated in all kinds of sport

he loved football but in 2007 he died of

pneumonia caused by a bacterial

infection called MRSA girls have a

sixth-grade camp and got sick when his

father picked him up from camp my son

was ghost white running 104 degree fever

the next day he was worse I brought him

to Urgent Care and is diagnosed with

pneumonia they prescribed them

antibiotics and the next morning he

started hallucinating he was admitted to

the hospital and diagnosed with Mercer

the following day they administered the

antibiotics but the Merced spread to all

of his major organs including his lungs

two weeks later Carlos died in the

hospital this is obviously incredibly

tragic mersa it's a type of staph

bacteria it can usually cause a skin

infections but in unique cases you can

spread to the bloodstream hard bones

joints and in Carlos's case the lungs

it's tougher to treat than most strains

of staff because it's resistant to some

of the commonly used antibiotics but

unfortunately the case with Carlos he

encountered a bacterial strain that was

resistant to the antibiotics Carlos mom

amber joins us and I just want to offer

our condolences and thank you for being

here with us today

this isn't happen to another family

thank you for opening up about this

because we need to talk about what

everyone needs to take into

consideration the next time that they

feel ill so we can prevent tragedies

like this from occurring it's so

absolutely true now here we come

cold and flu season these terrible

symptoms come upon us we want a quick

fix so we call our doctor and we

pressure them to please give us some

antibiotics here's the problem viruses

are not effectively treated by

antibiotics and cold bronchitis the flu

and many coughs are caused by viruses so

we have to let the cause determine the

treatment here are some do's and don'ts

I want everyone to pay attention to when

it comes to protecting your health talk

to your doc about what treatment is

appropriate for your particular illness

when you do need antibiotics

take the appropriate dosage complete the

entire course of treatment and this is

important never take antibiotics that

are prescribed for another person and

here's another tip talk to your doctor

about vaccines against viruses like the

flu or vaccines against bacteria like

whooping cough diphtheria and

pneumococcal pneumonia so the point to

remember here is antibiotics can save

lives for people who have serious

bacterial infections but remember using

antibiotics when they're not needed can

cause antibiotic resistance and limit

your ability to fight off future

infections so for more information on

bacterial infections and for how to use

antibiotics responsibly people can visit

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joining us talking about an important