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Health news and issues in the Ozarks.

CoxHealth Asks: Don’t Overdo It on the Antibiotics, Please


A local hospital is trying to get the word out:  don’t automatically resort to antibiotics each time you’re sick.

CoxHealth is putting up signs and printing brochures to get the word out.  Ryan Baker, the Ambulatory Care Director for CoxHealth, says taking antibiotics indiscriminately can cause a lot of pathogens to react in ways that can make therapies ineffective.

In other words, he says, nature finds a way to get around obstacles.

“You know probably the worst case scenario is a medication no longer is effective because these little bugs have developed ways to fight back.”

And the hospital says these pathogens can also hurt already sick patients—and the people caring for them.

“They can be very hard to get rid of or hard to kill, so that could just cause additional patients to get sick, could cause health care workers to get sick, and it’s just not really a good situation.”

Baker reminds providers to take special care before prescribing antibiotics, and to check if the symptoms correlate to a viral infection that needs to run its course.

He says antibiotics can also find their way into local water systems when and create an excess of environmental pollution.

The body is a beautiful thing, he says, and a lot of times it can clear up on its own—but reminds patients to work with their providers on the best course of action.