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Studies Warn Of Dangerous Overuse Of Antibiotics

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Posted at 4:58 PM, Jun 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 00:57:50-04

(CONSUMER NEWS) - Antibiotics have been known as miracle drugs that over the years have saved millions of lives. But their misuse and overuse have been causing dangerous consequences. They’re creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria that have spread from hospitals into our communities. Consumer Reports called the rise of superbugs a major crisis of our times and said we all have a role to play in stopping them.

The problem: Not all infections can be cured by an antibiotic. The overuse in people, livestock, poultry, and farmed seafood has led to mutations of bacteria that are now resistant to once-effective drugs.

Doctors and consumers have been part of the problem. We have used antibiotics even if they won’t work, such as for a cold or the flu, and sometimes we’re the ones who insist on using them. In fact, a Consumer Reports survey found that one in five people who got an antibiotic asked his doctor to prescribe it.

Consumer Reports has been spearheading a program to educate both patients and doctors about when antibiotics are needed and when they aren’t. More information can be found on ConsumerReports.org.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org