CDC is advising patients and their families to use antibiotics only when necessary to further reduce antibiotic resistance and the spread of superbugs. To kick off U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week, CDC launched Be Antibiotics Aware, an educational effort to raise awareness about the importance of safe antibiotic prescribing and use.
The new Be Antibiotics Aware initiative educates the public about when antibiotics are needed, when they are not, how to take antibiotics appropriately and side effects.
CDC encourages patients and families to:
Get the facts about antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work on viruses, such as colds and flu, or runny noses, even if the mucus is thick, yellow or green. When antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and the side effects could still hurt you.
Ask your doctor or nurse about the best way to feel better while your body fights off a virus (pain relievers, fever reducers, saline nasal spray or drops, warm compresses, liquids, and rest may help).
If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about your antibiotics, or if you develop any side effects, especially diarrhea, since that could be a C. difficile (c. diff) infection, which needs to be treated.
Stay healthy and keep others healthy by cleaning hands, covering coughs, staying home when sick, and getting recommended vaccines, for the flu, for example.
Patients and families are encouraged to use the educational materials and learn more about Be Antibiotics Aware by visiting: www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use.