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Health Care Tips from Baptist Health Care Offices

Jul 25, 2016 | News

This information has been provided courtesy of Baptist Health that we thought you may find helpful. East Ridge at Cutler Bay offers Cutler Bay area residents the convenience of a Baptist Health Primary Care office located within the East Ridge community. 

Baptist HealthAntibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses such as colds, most sore throats and bronchitis cases, and some ear infections. Nonetheless, 1-in-3 antibiotic prescriptions in the U.S. are given to treat those infections, making the doses unnecessary and a potential health threat, according to new data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC researchers, in collaboration with Pew Charitable Trusts and other public health and medical experts, reviewed antibiotic use at doctors’ offices and emergency departments throughout the U. S.

The study found that most unnecessary antibiotics are prescribed for respiratory conditions caused by viruses – including common colds, and viral sinus and ear infections – which do not respond to antibiotics.

One-third of distributed antibiotics amount to 47 million excess prescriptions each year, which put patients at risk for allergic reactions or the sometimes deadly diarrhea, Clostridium difficile, the CDC says. Moreover, the widespread and growing misuse of antibiotics is posing a potential public threat that may lead to future antibiotic-resistant infections, according to the CDC.

In many cases, physicians unnecessarily prescribe antibiotics, mostly to appease people who have requested antibiotics to treat viral infections. If antibiotics are used too often, they can stop working someone really needs the medication to work effectively against bacteria, said Yeisel Barquin, M.D., an internist and family physician with Baptist Health Primary Care.

“We are over-treating with antibiotics, bodies are capable of healing themselves when it comes to viral infections,” Dr. Barquin said. “Antibiotics over time can kill someone’s normal (gut) flora, which can lead to digestive problems and potentially fuel obesity because a person doesn’t have the good bacteria needed for digestion.”

In 2015, the White House unveiled The National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB), which set a goal of reducing unnecessary outpatient antibiotic use by at least half by 2020. This means that 15 percent of antibiotic prescriptions (or half of the 30 percent that are unnecessary) must be eliminated by 2020 to meet the CARB goal, the CDC says.

“Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs, and if we continue down the road of inappropriate use we’ll lose the most powerful tool we have to fight life-threatening infections,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D.  “Losing these antibiotics would undermine our ability to treat patients with deadly infections, cancer, provide organ transplants, and save victims of burns and trauma.”

Antibiotics: What Not to Do
According to the CDC:

  • Do not demand antibiotics when a doctor says they are not needed.
  • Do not take an antibiotic for a viral infection like a cold or most sore throats.
  • Do not take antibiotics prescribed for someone else. The antibiotic may not be right for your illness. Taking the wrong medicine may delay correct treatment and allow harmful bacteria to increase.

If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic for a bacterial infection:

  • Do not skip doses.
  • Do not save any of the antibiotics for the next time you or your child gets sick.

“People need to understand that conservative treatment of symptoms is the proper thing to do to overcome viral infections,” Dr. Barquin said. “Antibiotics have serious side effects that can diminish the body’s ability to fight off other types of infections.”

The new Baptist Health Primary Care office is located within the Three Palms Health Center at East Ridge at 19225 SW 87th Avenue.  The physicians staffing this location are: Rozan Razzouk, M.D., and Tomas Villanueva, M.D. To find a location near you and make an appointment with a primary care physician, please call 786-596-2464 or visit BaptistHealth.net/PrimaryCare.

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