Mississippi State Department of Health

Antibiotic Prescribing and Use


Antibiotics aren't always the answer. Unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics create new, drug-resistant strains of common diseases.

According to the CDC, at least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in U.S. outpatient settings are unnecessary, meaning that no antibiotic was needed at all. Any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance.

Prescribing antibiotics carefully and using them wisely is the key to preventing the spread of antibiotic-resistant illnesses, and ensures that these life-saving drugs will be available for future generations.

What You Can Do

When are antibiotics needed?

Colds, flu, sore throats and coughs are usually caused by viruses, not bacteria. Antibiotics should only be used when prescribed by a doctor to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics won't help you recover from a viral infection.

Antibiotic Stewardship

Antibiotic stewardship is the effort to measure and improve how antibiotics are prescribed by clinicians and used by patients. Improving antibiotic prescribing and use is critical to effectively treat infections, protect patients from harms caused by unnecessary antibiotic use, and combat antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic Awareness Week

U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (USAAW) is a collaboration of the CDC, state-based programs, nonprofit partners, and for-profit partners. You can join official USAAW events or host your own. There are many ways to get involved!

More information

Links referenced on this page
Questions and answers about antibiotic resistance    https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/data-research/facts-stats/
More about how bacteria become resistant    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,23756,228,html ok
How to treat common conditions with and without antibiotics    https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/hcp/clinical-care/
More about Antibiotic Stewardship    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/14,0,398,726,html ok
More about U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week    https://www.cdc.gov/antimicrobial-resistance/communication-resources/usaaw.html
Antibiotic Use    https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/
Antibiotic Do’s & Don’ts    https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/about/
For Healthcare Professionals: Outpatient Antibiotic Stewarship    https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/hcp/core-elements/outpatient-antibiotic-stewardship.html

Find this page at https://msdh.ms.gov/page/42,1648,228.html

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