Antibiotic Misuse/Overuse

Antibiotic resistance results when bacteria have the ability to survive through the use of antibiotics that were used as a treatment to kill the bacteria by natural selection or survival of the fittest and reaches the status of a ‘superbug’. The greater (longer in duration or frequent use) then the greater the risk of the superbug or resistance in the event that the antibiotic is needed for the patient’s severe crisis due to trauma or by exposure to a superbug accidently being passed on to the patient. The administration of 10 days of antibiotics increases the risk of a severe bacterial infection for up 12 months.

Some patients pressure their doctor or dermatologist and insist as their looks are most important in their professional and social life. However, the use for long range problems such as acne and rosacea which should be short term skin conditions is not a good use for antibiotics. Also some patients believe antibiotics are effective against the common cold which is most often viral in nature and antibiotics only work on the bacterial microorganisms.

Antibiotics administered to livestock and poultry for disease control and growth reasons have created drug resistant microbe mutations that are resident to the drugs used to treat humans.

It is estimated that up to 70% of bacterial infections occurring in hospitals have become resistant to one or more of the antimicrobial drugs commonly used in the treatment of infections.

Some microorganisms have developed a resistant to all currently approved antibiotic treatments and can now be treated only through the use of potentially toxic experimental drugs.

Antibiotics commonly prescribed for viral infections contribute to drug resistance.

What’s being done about the problem? The links below explain and offer reliable information on antibiotic resistance from a variety of sources.

FDA General Background


FDA General Background

“The Battle of the Bugs: Fighting
Antibiotic Resistance” (FDA Consumer article)

“FDA Publishes Final Rule to Require
Labeling About Antibiotic Resistance” (FDA Press Release)

“Antibiotic resistance fact sheet”
(National Institutes of Health)

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (Washington
state health dept.)

Guidance Proposed for Evaluating Safety of Antimicrobial Animal Drugs (FDA talk paper)

“HHS Releases Action Plan To Combat
Antimicrobial Resistance” (Dept. of Health and Human Services)

Questions and answers (CDC)