Dr Oz: Fake Antibiotics Causes Superbugs
Dr. Oz uncovered the truth about Antibiotics being sold in your delis and bodegas. The illegal selling of antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription is a secret hiding in plain sight. It’s going on all over the country and Carolina Bermudez went undercover to find out more. In one New York City ethnic market, the cashier sold Carolina Amoxicillin for $1.25 a capsule. Joanna, a woman Carolina spoke to about buying her antibiotics without a prescription in a similar market, explained that it was cheaper and convenient.
Dr Oz: What Is Antibiotic Resistance?
While taking antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription is risky enough on its own, the scary truth is that it’s also contributing to the over-prescription of antibiotics in our country, leading to super bugs. Dr Oz explained that typically antibiotics work to get rid of bad bacteria but every once in a while, the antibiotics don’t work well because of something called antibiotic resistance.
Dr Oz: Over-Prescription of Antibiotics Leads to Superbugs
The bacteria then changes and what’s left multiplies, creating even more resistant bacteria. Some bacteria even neutralize antibiotics, making it to where they can anything they want, while other bacteria “blow the antibiotic out of the cell” where they can work. Other bacteria change the site where the antibiotic is supposed to attack so the antibiotics can’t even touch them.
Essentially, taking antibiotics may get rid of some of the bacteria, but not the resistant bacteria. That resistant bacteria is what becomes a big crisis.
Dr Oz: Illegally Sold Antibiotics at Deli & Bodegas
Dr Oz spoke to NBC news medical contributor Natalie Azar about those super bugs and antibiotic resistance. Dr Oz was hoping Natalie could better explain why antibiotics being sold in delis, although authentic, are incredibly dangerous. Natalie stated that for her, it’s as if everything we were taught about the safe use of antibiotics was thrown out the window.
Antibiotics Sold At Ethnic Markets
For someone using antibiotics without a prescription, Natalie worries about allergic reactions, drug interactions, adverse effects, and contributing to resistance.
Dr Oz: ARI (Acute Respiratory Infections) #1 Reason Americans Visit Doctors
According to Dr Oz, another big problem comes down to how we treat our doctors. As Natalie explained, patients come in with acute respiratory infections, or ARI’s, which is probably one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor. ARI’s include the common cold, the flu, sore throats, bronchitis, ear infections, and more. Most of them are viral which means they don’t respond to antibiotics and antibiotics aren’t indicated. But sometimes within the first 24-48 hours of not feeling well, it can be hard to distinguish and once a patient comes in begging for medicine, the doctor may have the reflex to give a patient an antibiotic.
Tens of millions of prescriptions for antibiotics are given out each year. If you’re suffering from a viral infection, the antibiotic won’t make you better, but instead will cause other problems like killing off the bacteria in your gut or causing antibiotic resistance.
How Many Prescription Given Are Unnecessary Every Year?
According to the CDC, approximately 50% of all prescriptions written in America are in inappropriate or unnecessary.
Dr Oz: Post-Antibiotic Era
According to public health experts, the emergence of drug resistant bacteria are as big a problem as pathogens like Ebola and Zika. Other public heath experts have compared drug resistance to bioterrorism. Experts even refer to a “post antibiotic era.” We’ve been using antibiotics for 70-75 years and they have saved millions of lives.
Dr Oz: How To Stop Antibiotic Resistance
Fortunately, there’s a few things each of us can do right now to stop the development of antibiotic resistance.
- Ask questions and talk to your doctor about what they’re treating. It’s okay to challenge your health care provider in this instance.
- Short doses can be just as effective as longer doses, so be sure you’re not taking antibiotics for too long. That’s another conversation to have with your doctor. Make sure your doctor is up to date on the latest data and recommendations from the CDC or ACP.
- Do not share pills with anyone you know!