The CDC has posted new guidelines on limiting antibiotic use in children. The increase in antibiotic resistance is not news yet it seems that overuse of antibiotics continues. This report emphasizes the need for us to distinguish between viral and bacterial infections since taking antibiotics during a viral infection can worsen the problem. It is clear that we need to get better at developing strategies for prevention and enduring symptoms of infections in order to limit our use of antibiotics. What recommendations do you provide to the parents of your pediatric patients to limit their antibiotic use and stay healthy during this season?
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A recent report by CNN brings attention back to triclosan, the main antibacterial ingredient in nonalcoholic hand sanitizers. The report discusses that triclosan harms the immune and endocrine systems in addition to decreasing muscle strength in animal studies. Furthermore, triclosan does not offer protection against viruses or fungi and elicits antibiotic resistance. Researchers recommend washing hands with soap and water for about 24 seconds instead of using hand sanitizer for it is both safe and effective at removing bacteria and viruses.
How often do you use hand sanitizer? How often do you recommend the use soap and water instead? What are your thoughts on essential oil-based hand sanitizers?
The Center for Disease Control predicts that over 2 million people every year will get infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria of which 23,000 will lead to death. A comprehensive analysis warns that antibiotic overuse is the main culprit thus advising people only to take antibiotics when absolutely necessary. The CDC believes increasing resistance is also due to antibiotic use in food and animals and cautions against those. The CDC reports an assessment of 18 bacteria- and antibiotic-related illnesses has been broken down into three categories: urgent, serious and concerning based on the pathogen’s clinical impact, transmissibility, current and projected incidence, and the availability of effective therapeutics. Addition of plant extracts have been shown to decrease antibiotic resistance. Have you ever suggested specific plants to reduce/prevent antibiotic resistance?
A new systematic review of 23 trials published by investigators from the Cochranne Collaboration evaluated 4,213 patients who were on antibiotics treatment for different reasons. Researchers concluded that 2% of patients when given probiotics developed C. difficile, compared with 6% of patients who were taking placebo. Additionally, people taking probiotics developed less abdominal side efeects compared to placebo. However, despite the preventive effect on diarrhea, taking probiotics did not entirely eliminate infections with C. difficile.What other indications do you recommend probiotics for? How do you feel about single versus multi-strain products?
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