Using Antibiotics Correctly

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Using antibiotics correctly.

Jordan S. Josephson, MD
So Antibiotics have saved millions of lives and have improved our quality of life. The problem is, people don't really use antibiotics correctly so your doctor gives you a two-week prescription for antibiotics, you don't really want to take them. You take them for three days, you're starting to feel better, you stop taking them. Your infection comes back a week later. Well, what happens is, you knocked out all the bacteria that were sensitive to the antibiotics; the bacteria that were resistant, they're there, they're starting to breed. When they grow, now you have a resistant organism. It wasn't the antibiotic that made the resistant organism, it was the improper use of the antibiotic that made the resistant bacteria. And now we're having a problem with the resistant bacteria which is more belligerent and it's now hurting us more than the bacteria that were sensitive to the antibiotic. So it's very important to take the full course of antibiotics. Understand that antibiotics are good. And for an acute infection, 10 to 14 days of antibiotics are good, but for a chronic infection, something that's been plaguing you for 20 years, 10 to 14 days are probably not going to do the trick. which brings me back to the East meets West and when I have patients on those length of antibiotics, I also give them probiotics, for instance acidophilus 'that will keep your bacteria flora count kind of stabilized in your GI tract while you're taking these antibiotics.