World Antibiotic Awareness Week
November 13 - 19, 2017

Take the Pledge to Use Antibiotics Wisely!

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What you need to know about Antibiotics
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What are superbugs?
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Do I need antibiotics for:
Abscessed Tooth
Answer:
Rarely

A tooth abscess is a local collection of pus in or around the tooth and is best treated by draining the pus. This should be done as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the infection to other parts of the head and neck. It can be done by a local procedure in the mouth, through a root canal or by removing the tooth completely. Antibiotics are generally not needed if the pus is drained. In fact, scientific studies have shown that antibiotics are unnecessary for treating tooth abscesses.

NOTE: Antibiotics are NOT recommended to settle the infection before draining the abscess - Drainage as soon as possible is the therapy of choice.

Asymptomatic Bacteriuria
Answer:
No

Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) refers to the presence of bacteria in the urine without symptoms of a urinary tract infection. ASB is a colonization state rather than an infection and DOES NOT require antibiotics. Older persons are much more likely to have bacteria in the urine as a normal condition of aging. Giving antibiotics for this condition will cause unnecessary side effects including diarrhea and will promote resistance of bacteria.

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include burning or pain on voiding, increased frequency of voiding, fever and flank pain.

NOTE: cloudy, foul smelling urine does not indicate a urinary tract infection. It usually indicates dehydration and does not need to be investigated with a urine test.

Bronchitis
Answer:
Rarely
Most bronchitis in individuals with otherwise healthy lungs is caused by a virus.
Colds
Answer:
No
Colds are caused by viruses. Antibiotics do not work against cold viruses.
Ear Infection
Answer:
Some

Some ear infections are due to viruses and some are due to bacteria.  Antibiotics might be prescribed for an ear infection, but 70-80% of children who have an ear infection will get better without an antibiotic.

Influenza (flu)
Answer:
No
Influenza or flu is caused by a virus. Antibiotics do not work against influenza or flu viruses.
Laryngitis
Answer:
No
Laryngitis is caused by a virus. Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box, or larynx that causes your voice to become raspy or hoarse.
Pneumonia
Answer:
Often

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Pneumonia is most often caused by bacteria, but viruses and fungi can also cause pneumonia.

Prior to Dental Procedures 
(if I have a prosthetic joint or heart condition)
Answer:
Rarely

The best available scientific evidence now shows that this is not necessary for most patients. If you have a prosthetic joint or a heart condition, consult with your dentist:

  • Always update your dentist on any medical conditions, medications you may be taking, recent surgeries and/or changes to your health.
  • Provide permission for your dentist to consult with your primary care physician in advance of treatment to determine if antibiotics are needed.
Sinus infection
Answer:
Rarely
Both bacteria and viruses can cause sinusitis (viruses are up to 200 times more common). Sinusitis most often occurs after a cold but most colds do not lead to bacterial sinusitis.  The symptoms of sinusitis are more severe and last longer than a cold.
Sore throat
Answer:
Rarely

Most sore throats are caused by viruses.  An antibiotic will not help a sore throat caused by a virus. Some sore throats are caused by Streptococcus bacteria, and are treated with antibiotics.

Tooth Extraction
Answer:
Rarely
Most simple extractions do not require antibiotics—removing the tooth is usually enough to clear the infection. Complex extractions may require antibiotics.

Antibiotic Resistance
 •  A global issue

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