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Sometimes no antibiotic is the best prescription.

Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent health threats we face globally.

Imagine this: You or someone you love develops an infection. It's something common - maybe an infected tooth, a wound or pneumonia. They take the antibiotics exactly as prescribed, but they have no effect! The infection persists and even worsens.  What is going on?

Causes of Antibiotic Resistance PhotoIt's a case of antibiotic resistance. It means that the bacteria that caused the infection is resistant to the antibiotic. Certain bacteria have adapted, in order to survive the effects of antibiotics.  In some cases, ALL antibiotics can be ineffective against the bacteria, and those infections are impossible to treat. This is a real, urgent and scary problem.  Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Carbapenem-resistant organisms (CRO), and Neisseria gonorrhoeae are examples of stubborn resistant bacteria.

Imagine a world where antibiotics no longer work.

Antibiotics don't work against common cold and flu viruses and are often unnecessary for some common bacterial infections, such as upper respiratory infections and acute bronchitis. Despite these facts, inappropriate antibiotic prescription remains common in Canada–estimated at over 30% of all prescriptions, and 50% of prescriptions for respiratory infections.

Think you need antibiotics? PhotoThe good news is that if we all learn about this problem and use antibiotics appropriately, we can keep these life-saving medicines effective for future generations. We can be stewards of antibiotics, in the same way we are stewards of the environment.

Here are a few things each of us can do:

Researchers estimate that without action, by 2050 deaths due to antibiotic resistance will be greater than deaths due to cancer and road traffic accidents combined!

Imagine that each of us takes action to protect the healing power of antibiotics for future generations. Imagine a world where antibiotics do work! 

What more do you think we could do? Tell us at patients@cpsi-icsp.ca