Think you need antibiotics? Think again, says Monument Health

Consult a doctor first.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — This is antibiotic awareness week and Monument Health is using it to educate the community on it’s appropriate use.

MonumentMedical experts say antibiotics are successful in fighting or preventing bacterial infections but if used to treat viruses, it may contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Dr. James Keegan, a Rapid City physician, explains that when used inappropriately, germs evolve to defeat the drugs that are designed to kill them, rendering them useless when they’re needed the most.

“So we used to think antibiotics were just insurance, you know, we weren’t sure what was going on,” said Keegan. “Probably a viral infection and so let’s use antibiotics just in case. And now we know that’s very damaging to do that, that philosophy causes harm.”

Keegan says the vast majority of infections are viral and do not require antibiotics.

“In fact, 95 percent plus of respiratory infections, ear infections, sinus infections, they’re all viral,” said Keegan. “They don’t need antibiotics at all. And yet, when we use antibiotics, we create more resistant bacteria and we go from one antibiotic to the next, to the next, and all the time we’re damaging our protective bacteria.”

Keegan adds that between doctors and patients, you should work with your doctor to ensure antibiotics are not being over-prescribed, especially in instances of the common cold or a viral infection.

 

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News