misusing antibiotics and living a healthier life

Photo: Jamie Chung

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Question Your Meds
At least two million Americans are infected with drug-resistant bacteria each year. One of the easiest ways to fight the emergence of such superbugs is to avoid misusing antibiotics. When you take an antibiotic, it kills not just illness-causing bacteria, but also good, infection-fighting bacteria. This gives bugs that are naturally resistant to the drug the chance to proliferate. As a result, the same antibiotic may not work the next time you need it. Currently, one in two hospital patients is prescribed an antibiotic. To protect yourself—and your fellow humans—ask your doctor if you really need a prescription. If you don't, skip it.