Antibiotics aren't always the answer

What's Going Around week of November 28th, 2016

Antibiotics aren't always the answer
Antibiotics aren't always the answer

Cold and flu season can wreak all sorts of havoc on the immune system.

It can be easy to want to call the doctor looking for antibiotics at the first sign of illness.

Too much isn’t good for you

According to Daniel Allan, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic, most illnesses are viral, and taking unnecessary antibiotics will actually do more harm than good.

“Antibiotics, if they’re used inappropriately, will give you side effects – diarrhea, nausea, not feeling well,” said Dr. Allan. “It can create future resistance to infections.”

Dr. Allan said that even when used appropriately, over-use of antibiotics can create resistant bacteria two to six months beyond when the prescription was taken, so it’s not a good idea to use them unless folks really need them.

Most illnesses are viral

Dr. Allan said that when a child comes home complaining of a sore throat – usually only one in five will actually have strep throat.