Be Antibiotic Aware and join the CDC’s educational effort to help improve antibiotic prescribing and use in the United States. The U.S Antibiotic Awareness Week kicks off today and runs through November 24th. Below we include a message to prescribers on protecting patients, as well as the CDC’s advice to patients and their families to help decrease antibiotic resistance. At OctariusRx we are proud to partner with the CDC and work diligently all year to help improve patient safety and reduce risks.
Be Antibiotics Aware: Protect your patient
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging healthcare professionals to prescribe antibiotics only when necessary to help fight antibiotic resistance and the spread of superbugs and to protect their patients from antibiotic-related adverse drug events. During U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week and throughout the year, CDC promotes Be Antibiotics Aware, an educational effort to raise awareness about the importance of safe antibiotic prescribing and use.
The Be Antibiotics Aware initiative provides resources to help improve antibiotic prescribing among healthcare professionals and use among consumers.
CDC’s Be Antibiotics Aware educational effort encourages healthcare professionals to:
- Only prescribe antibiotics when they are clinically indicated. Antibiotics are only needed to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, not viruses like SARS-CoV-2. You can do harm by prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed.
- Follow clinical guidelines on how best to evaluate and treat infections.
- Optimizing the use of diagnostic tests is critical for improving treatment of conditions like sepsis and stopping the spread of infections, including those caused by SARS-CoV-2.
- Always prescribe the right antibiotic, at the right dose, for the right duration, and at the right time.
- Using the shortest effective duration of antibiotic therapy is a key antibiotic stewardship strategy in all health care settings. The goal is to optimize the treatment of the infection while minimizing the risks of side effects from antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.
- Only prescribe antibiotics when they are needed. You can do harm by prescribing antibiotics that aren’t needed.
- Tell your patients why they don’t need antibiotics for a viral respiratory infection, what to do to feel better, and when to seek care again if they don’t feel better.
- Talk to your patients and their families about possible harms from antibiotics, such as allergic reactions, C. difficile, and antibiotic-resistant infections.
- Educate your patients and their families to recognize the signs and symptoms of worsening infection and sepsis, and to know when to seek medical care.
- If sepsis is suspected, gather patient information and immediately communicate it to hospital healthcare professionals. Antibiotics should be started as soon as possible when sepsis is suspected.
Be Antibiotics Aware has resources to help healthcare professionals (in outpatient and inpatient settings) educate patients and families about antibiotic use and risks for potential side effects. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/?s_cid=NCEZID-AntibioticUse-005.
CDC advises patients and their families to Be Antibiotics Aware
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising patients and their families to use antibiotics only when necessary to further reduce antibiotic resistance, the spread of superbugs, and protect patients from side effects from antibiotics. During U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week and throughout the year, CDC promotes Be Antibiotics Aware, an educational effort to raise awareness about the importance of safe antibiotic use.
The Be Antibiotics Aware initiative educates the public about when antibiotics are needed, when they are not, how to take antibiotics appropriately, and potential side effects of antibiotics.
CDC encourages patients and families to:
- Get the facts about antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work on viruses, such as those that cause colds, flu, bronchitis, or runny noses, even if the mucus is thick, yellow, or green. When antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and the side effects could still cause harm.
- Ask your healthcare professional about the most appropriate treatment for you or your loved ones’ illness. If antibiotics are not needed, ask about the best way to feel better while your body fights off the virus.
- If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
- Talk with your healthcare professional if you develop any side effects, especially severe diarrhea, since that could be a Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile or C. diff) infection, which needs to be treated immediately.
- Do your best to stay healthy and keep others healthy by cleaning hands by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol; covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; staying home when sick; and getting recommended vaccines, such as the flu vaccine.
CDC encourages patients and families to use the educational resources and learn more about Be Antibiotics Aware by visiting: https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/?s_cid=NCEZID-AntibioticUse-023.
Antibiotics Aren’t Always the Answer
The Consultant Pharmacists at OctariusRx provide guidance on safe medication management, survey readiness and cost savings to ambulatory healthcare facilities/surgery centers, senior care facilities and pharmacies We also help individual patients optimize their medications to improve their quality of life and save money. Contact us for assistance.