Dr Oz, Antibiotic Resistance, Bacterial & Viral Infections

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Dr. Oz Talks About Antibiotics and Their Use (Or Overuse) For Bacterial and Viral Infections

The first half of today’s Dr. Oz show as all about antibiotics and how some doctors are over prescribing them for ailments where they are either ineffective or not needed.  During this segment Dr. O talks about when you should use antibiotics and when you should not.

Do Antibiotics Work For Bacterial and Viral Infections

Dr. Oz invited Dr. Brad Spellberg on to the show to talk about antibiotics and for what ailments that they should be used.  Dr. Spellberg said that antibiotics kill bacteria (both good and bad bacteria) but they are ineffective against viral infections.  If you take antibiotics while you have a virus you open yourself up to side effects of killing off your good bacteria without them being effective at all towards your virus.  He said that when people take antibiotics needlessly for viruses (which they don’t help) there runs a serious risk of antibiotic resistance amongst some bacterial strains.  Dr. Oz stated that over 10 millions antibiotic prescriptions are given out each year for viral infections when they don’t do any help at all.

So what Is Antibiotic Resistance?

Dr. Brad Spellberg explained to Dr. Oz that bacterial infections that were once easily treated with antibiotics have evolved and have created resistance to the medication’s ability to treat the illness.

When Are Antibiotics Useful?

Dr. Oz explained that when you take antibiotics for viral infections it may help with some minor systems (like a cough) but it doesn’t stop the viral infection from running it’s course.  The problem is that overexposure to antibiotics can lead to resistant bacteria when you get sick in the future.  The antibiotics wont be nearly as effective at treating the illness.  Dr. Spellberg chimed in and said that unnecessary use of antibiotics can lead to resistance to “super bugs” which have the potential to be deadly if we can’t treat the illness.

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