Using Antibiotics Safely


Baptist Health La Grange: Using Antibiotics Safety

Madonna Ringswald, DO, outlines when to take an antibiotic for an infection, and pharmacists Brooke Kapfhammer and Angela Sandlin provide instructions for taking it properly.

Using Antibiotics Safety Health Talks Transcript

Madonna Ringswald, DO, Internal Medicine
The difference between a viral and a bacterial infection is that bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics typically. Viral infections you need to treat symptomatically.

Brooke Kapfhammer, PharmD, Pharmacist
An antibiotic will definitely help you feel better, and it will work better if you take it correctly.

Angela Sandlin, PharmD, Director of Pharmacy
If you take the antibiotic only when it’s needed, it eradicates the infection, and there’s no problem. However, if you take it unnecessarily, the bacteria learn how to outsmart the antibiotic, and the next time you take that antibiotic, it won’t work as well. It’s interesting, too, that not only is that individual affected, but everyone is affected by that because you are promoting resistance throughout the community when you take an antibiotic that’s not necessary or not needed.

So, you should remember to take it exactly as directed by your physician, do not skip doses, do not share it with others or save some for later, and be sure to finish the full prescription even if you feel better.

It’s important for the prescriber to select the most targeted antibiotic for that infection, and it’s incumbent upon the patient to take the medication exactly as it’s prescribed, and that is our best chance of having some antibiotics available for us and our children.