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Saturday, June 27, 2009

8 Ways to Stay Healthy - 6. Don't ask for antibiotics

6. Don't ask for antibiotics

If you're suffering from a head cold, sinus infection, earache, bronchitis or the flu, don't assume your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. In fact, antibiotics in some cases can make things worse. A study reported in Clinical Infectious Diseases estimated that 142,000 emergency-room visits each year are due to adverse reactions to antibiotics, ranging from rashes to life-threatening allergic reactions. And for the common cold, flu, and many minor infections such as bronchitis, antibiotics don't seem to help. Overuse and overprescribing of antibiotics also has led to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria that have become a serious public health concern, especially in hospitals. Your doctor is the best one to judge whether your illness needs an antibiotic. It's better to be cautious and not assume an antibiotic is necessary.

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