This week is “Get Smart About Antibiotics” week, and the Illinois Department of Public Heath is asking Illinoisans to learn how they can help prevent the misuse of antibiotics. Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs, however according to IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, up to 50% of all antibiotics prescribed are either not needed or are not as effective as intended.
Shah also said because of misuse, antibiotic resistant bacterial infections are becoming more common. He encouraged everyone to take the time to learn how they can keep antibiotics working.
Antibiotics are medicines that treat bacterial infections. They do not cure infections caused by viruses, such as the common cold or flu. The IDPH points out that taking antibiotics when you don’t need them, can prevent them from working when you do.