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When Antibiotics Don't Work

November 29, 2010, 5:10 PM by Kelli Grant

When Antibiotics Don't Work
When you're sick do you immediately call your doctor to make an appointment in hopes of getting quick relief from an antibiotic? The CDC says it isn't always the best treatment. In fact, those drugs may be unnecessary.

The Centers for Disease Control says knowing when to take antibiotics and when not to can help fight off deadly "superbugs."

They say overuse has helped create bacteria that doesn't respond, or responds less effectively, to the drugs used to fight them.

The agency says almost every type of bacteria has become stronger and less responsive to antibiotic treatment. That's why they're urging Americans to use the drugs properly to help prevent antibiotic resistance.

Most strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are still found in health care settings, like hospitals and nursing homes. Yet superbugs, like MRSA - which kills about 19,000 people in the U.S. every year - are increasingly found in places like health clubs, schools, and at work.

The CDC wants you to remember that antibiotics cure bacterial infections like strep throat, not viral infections like colds or the flu.

For that reason the CDC kicked off a new initiative called Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics.

But if you are turning to over the counter medications, especially for kids, you'll want to pay attention to some recent recalls. Children's Benadryl Allergy Fast Melt tablets in cherry and grape flavors and Junior Strength MOTRIN Caplets have been voluntary recalled. No adverse affects have been reported but a review of the product showed insufficiencies in the manufacturing process. If you have those medications already at home, the FDA says you can still use them.

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