Editor?s note: The To Your Heath column is a venue for Jefferson County Health Center to provide health information that will benefit The Fairfield Ledger?s readers.
To suggest ideas for future articles or to obtain information, call Jefferson County Health Center community relations manager Wanda Bagby at 469-4198.
Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs. Using antibiotics wisely is the best way to preserve their strength for future bacterial illness. Health care providers at Jefferson County Health Center are committed to being good stewards of antibiotics through antibiotic stewardship.
Antibiotic stewardship refers to the coordinated efforts to promote appropriate antibiotic prescribing for all of our patients. The goal is to promote clinical practice guidelines that provide the best standard of care and minimize the development and spread of antibiotic-resident bacteria.
Each year antibiotics only fight infections caused by bacteria. Like all drugs, they can be harmful and should only be used when necessary. Taking antibiotics when you have a virus can do more harm than good: you will still feel sick and the antibiotic could give you unpleasant side effects, such as a skin rash, diarrhea, or a yeast infection. Antibiotics also give bacteria a chance to become more resistant to them. This can make future infections harder to treat. It means that antibiotics might not work when you really do need them. Because of this, it is important that you only use an antibiotic when it is necessary to treat your illness.
How can you help? When you have a cough, sore throat, or other illness, tell your doctor you only want an antibiotic if it is really necessary. If you are not prescribed an antibiotic, ask what you can do to feel better and get relief from your symptoms. Your health is important to us. As your health care providers, we promise to provide the best possible treatment for your condition. If an antibiotic is not needed, we will explain this to you and will offer a treatment plan that will help. We are dedicated to prescribing antibiotics only when they are needed, and we will avoid giving you antibiotics when they might do more harm than good.
?If we use antibiotics when not needed, we may not have them when they are most needed.? ? Dr. Tom Frieden, director U.S. CDC.
Katie Mitchell, Doctor of Pharmacy, is employed at Jefferson County Health Center.