How Much Do You Really Know About Antibiotics?

Taking an antibiotic can seem like a no-brainer: Pop some pills and your sinus infection or strep throat is a thing of the past.

But while antibiotics have saved countless lives since being developed a century ago, their use doesn’t come without problems. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 30% of antibiotics prescribed in the United States aren’t actually needed given the patient’s condition. That puts patients at risk, since taking antibiotics when they can’t treat your illness could result in allergic reactions or, sometimes, potentially life-threatening side effects.

There’s also a huge concern over something called “antibiotic resistance.” This is when bacteria develops the ability to resist the effects of antibiotics (meaning they don’t get killed off when someone takes the medicine). According to the CDC, antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.

All of this is meant to show why it’s so important to know exactly what types of illnesses can be treated with antibiotics and how to use the medicine properly. On the Blue Care Network of Michigan Facebook page, we’ve created a quiz to test your knowledge on the topic and clear up some misconceptions. Try to answer the questions below, then head here to see how well you did (and take the rest of our antibiotics quiz).

  1. True or False? If my doctor prescribes antibiotics for a bacterial infection such as strep throat, I only need to take them until I feel better and the pain’s gone away.
  2. Which of the following should be treated with antibiotics?
    The flu
    Common cold
    Runny nose
    All of the above
    None of the above
  3. True or False? My child’s mucus was clear and now it’s green. This is a definite sign of a bacterial infection and they will need antibiotics to feel better.
  4. Misuse of antibiotics causes what percent of emergency room visits?

Antibiotics are often called miracle drugs, since many common illnesses that once could cause death are now easily treated. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to take them correctly. If you’re ever confused or want to double-check something, talk to your doctor.


Photo Credit: Sezeryadigar

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Read 4 Comments

  1. I was given antibiotics for broncitus and it destroyed the good bacteria in my gut and it really made me sick.

  2. That does happen. That’s why they say to eat yogurt when you’re taking antibiotics and there is also a vitamin you get specifically for colon health.

  3. You should ALWAYS take a good probiotic especially when taking antibiotics to maintain a healthy balance in your gut!

  4. If you do not treat an infection you are setting yourself up for a severe illness, hospital stay, permanent disability or death. Some people rely on antibiotics to stay employed. You can only miss so much work.

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