Your head throbs, your nose is stuffy, your throat is sore, and you're exhausted. You're probably coming down with a cold or the flu. But if you think that antibiotics will help you feel better, think again. Antibiotics won't do a thing for viral illnesses such as colds, flu and most sore throats. And overusing or misusing antibiotics can do more harm than good and contribute to antibiotic resistance.
Do your part to fight the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections. It's as easy as counting to three: 1. Don't expect your doctor to prescribe antibiotics for viral illnesses, such as the common cold. 2. Never take antibiotics that were prescribed for another person. 3. When you need antibiotics, follow your doctor's orders for taking them.
Medication errors are preventable. Reduce your risk with some simple safety tips.
Don't save your leftover pain pills. Opioids can be deadly to small children. Proper disposal is crucial and may include flushing them down the toilet.
Grapefruit and other citrus can be a problem if you take prescription medicines.
Overuse of antibiotics creates antibiotic-resistant germs. Protect yourself and others by using antibiotics wisely.
Grapefruit juice can alter the effects of several kinds of drugs, including statins (taken for high cholesterol) and some blood pressure medications. The same goes for whole grapefruit and any grapefruit products. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist when you get a new prescription if it interacts with any foods. If the answer is yes, ask whether you need to eliminate that food from your diet.
Many people who've been prescribed pain medications are tempted to hang on to any leftovers in case they need them in the future. But this practice can have deadly consequences if children or pets accidentally ingest these drugs. Play it safe by promptly disposing of unused prescription medications at community take-back events or local drop-off spots.
Alcohol doesn't lower the effectiveness of most antibiotics. But it's still a good idea to avoid alcohol while taking antibiotics.
Precision medicine means using tools, such as pharmacogenomics, to tailor treatment to your genetic makeup.