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Be Antibiotics Aware

November 16, 2020      Media Contact: Pam Klosowski


Be Antibiotics Aware

[Antibiotic Awareness Week information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.]


POTSDAM, NY – When suffering from the flu or a cold, many people may think an antibiotic is the cure, when actually, it’s not.

St. Lawrence Health System’s providers and pharmacists believe Antibiotic Awareness Week being celebrated November 18-24, 2020, is the perfect time to bring the overuse of antibiotics to the forefront of their patients and local residents.

Most everyone will require antibiotics at some time during their life, and these medications are needed to help fight bacterial infections. These drugs, however, can possibly cause side effects, and may contribute to antibiotic resistance, which is a real threat to many people’s health. 

“It’s okay to discuss antibiotic use with your provider,” noted Canton-Potsdam Hospital Antimicrobial Stewardship Pharmacist Regina Scott, PharmD, BCPS. “If an antibiotic is prescribed, the benefits typically outweigh any possible side effects.”

There are various reasons why your provider may not prescribe an antibiotic – your illness may not be affected by these drugs, or you may have been on a recent round of them, and that could lead to antibiotic resistance.  

According to the CDC, antibiotic resistance happens when germs no longer respond to the antibiotics designed to kill them; therefore, the germs are not killed and continue to grow. However, it does not mean our bodies are resistant to antibiotics.

“Illnesses such as a sinus or ear infection may or may not be assisted by an antibiotic. It’s dependent on if the infection is bacterial or a virus. An antibiotic won’t help you feel better if you have a virus,” Dr. Scott said. “Examples of conditions that do require antibiotics include pneumonia, strep throat, whooping cough, and urinary tract infection.”

Learn more about antibiotic use.