Antibiotics To Carry New Warnings

Antibiotics soon will bear a substantial brand-new warning that overusing them causes these to be less effective. In the February 6, 2003 discharge of the Associated Press Health News, comes the news that antibiotics will quickly have a new warning message mandated by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The newest action was prompted since it has long been acknowledged that antibiotics will always be drastically overused. In line with the AP story, the newest warning says that doctors should be sure a person is suffering a bacterial infection, not a virus with comparable symptoms, just before prescribing antibiotics. The content notes that most often, doctors prescribe prescription antibiotics for children with earaches brought on by viruses, or for adults with colds or viral coughs.

Antibiotics don't have any influence on viruses; they solely fight bacteria. However, the US government estimates that half of the 100 million antibiotic prescriptions written in physician offices annually are pointless.

One good reason that the FDA action is becoming very important is that bacteria are growing increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Many common infections no longer are treatable with old standbys like penicillin, and some have become untreatable by every antibiotic on the market. Anytime antibiotics are used, survivor germs can emerge stronger and spread. It is the overuse of antibiotics that has lead to the increased resistance by bacteria.

The FDA proposed the new warnings two years ago. They will go into effect Feb. 6, 2004. Unfortunately, the warnings would be only on the drugs' official label, and the AP story reports that very few doctors read drug labels. Because of this the FDA is working on additional ways to spread their concern over the use of antibiotics, including future ads aimed at consumers.

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