Be Antibiotics Aware
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.
Alliant Quality, the Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organization for Georgia and North Carolina, invites primary care physician practices, federally-qualified health centers and emergency rooms to join us in these efforts. The goal will focus on increasing the appropriate use of antibiotics for common infections.
- Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship Assessment Checklist - Fillable PDF
- Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship Assessment Checklist - Survey Monkey
- Practice List Antibiotic Stewardship
Antibiotic resistance – when bacteria stop responding to the drugs designed to kill them – is possibly the single most important infectious disease threat we face today.
We risk turning back the clock to a world where simple infections could kill people as they did a century ago.
Each year, more than 2 million people in the United States get infections from germs that are resistant to antibiotics– and at least 23,000 people die as a result.
C. difficile infections – which can occur after using antibiotics – kill at least another 15,000 Americans a year
The single most important action to slow the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant infections is for us – every one of us – to improve the way antibiotics are prescribed and used.
- If we don’t take better care of the antibiotics we have today – if we aren't better stewards of them – we may lose these antibiotics and the next ones that come along.
- If we lose antibiotics, we also undermine our ability to provide organ transplants, save victims of burns and trauma, and treat patients with sepsis and cancer
- Antibiotics and everything they support could become obsolete.
Antibiotic stewardship programs and interventions help ensure that patients receive antibiotics only when absolutely necessary; and when they are needed, the correct antibiotic is prescribed in a timely manner at the right dose and duration.
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Patient Information and Resources
Video: The Right Tool