Outwit The Smart Bugs
What you can do
While scientists are busy developing vaccines and new antibiotics to fight resistant infections, there are steps you can take to become part of the solution. Stuart Levy, M.D., president of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics and author of The Antibiotic Paradox (HarperCollins), recommends the following strategies.
•Don't self-diagnose. See a doctor if you think you need antibiotics.
•Don't stockpile antibiotics. If you have old drugs on hand, toss them. Stockpiling encourages dangerous self-diagnosis and self-medication.
•Test and Wait. Request a test to confirm you have a bacterial infection. If antibiotics are prescribed, ask to wait 24 hours to see if symptoms improve before filling the prescription.
•Always finish a course of antibiotics. Even if you start feeling better before you've used all the medication, you still probably have microbes in your system. Finish the prescription to knock out all the bugs.