Many Americans are great believers in the power of prescription medications. Individuals over 60 may remember loved ones dying from simple infections that can now be treated.

However, sometimes we pressure our doctor to prescribe an antibiotic when one isn’t needed. Using antibiotics as a cure-all is happening so often that our overuse of them is actually making antibiotics less effective when they are needed.

Antibiotics fight bacteria. Anti = against; biotic = bacterial. So if you have a virus, antibiotics will not cure your infection, nor will they make you feel better.

According to a November report by the Centers for Disease Control, antibiotics are over prescribed by many doctors. As the saying goes, too much of a good thing can turn bad. An antibiotic can only be used so much before the bacteria (which is a living organism) begins to develop a resistance to it. This means that bacteria mutates into forms that our current antibiotics cannot kill; so science develops new antibiotics, which cause more bacterial mutation, and so on.

The take away? Stop demanding antibiotics every time you feel sick. When antibiotics are prescribed, stop further spread of bacteria by carrying out the full treatment.