Written by Lindsey Burnworth
Last updated on November 14, 2012 @ 3:23PM
Created on November 13, 2012 @ 5:41PM
A new study has found that people in West Virginia are more likely to overuse antibiotics than almost any other state.
This increases the risk of infections because people stop responding to those antibiotics. Many people take antibiotics too often. That causes bacteria to get used to the medicine and learn ways to fight it.
Another issue is that antibiotics are used to treat viruses, but those medicines aren't meant for that. The increased resistance to antibiotics has caused doctors to become proactive. Now, they'll only prescribe the smallest dose of medication to their patients. This is also starting to work around the country as well. Antibiotic use is now down 17% from 1999.
Local doctors said they're doing everything they can to get that number down even more.
"What I do in my practice is I actually still kind of go with the lowest level possible all the time. I get more cultures so that I know if an antibiotic is going to work, so I'm not giving them one that halfway works and is helping to contribute to the problem," said Dr. Stephanie Frame of St. Joseph's Physicians.
A good tip is that when you go to the doctor, make sure to accurately describe how you feel. That way your doctor will know the best medicine to help treat your symptoms.
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