Antibiotic Awareness Week set for Nov. 12-18

Dentists are antibiotic stewards too

U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week is an annual one-week observance to raise awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing. More than 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths due to antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the United States each year; this translates to an estimated 260,000 illnesses and nearly 3,000 deaths in California.

Antibiotic-resistant infections are more difficult to treat and are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. There are few antibiotics left to treat resistant infections and even fewer new drugs in the development pipeline. Inappropriate antibiotic use is the primary driver of antibiotic resistance and is associated with C. difficile infections and increased emergency department visits for adverse events.

Dentists prescribe 10 percent of all antibiotics in outpatient settings, according to a 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and they play a key role in the effort to address the threat of antibiotic resistance in California. Learn more about antibiotic stewardship in dentistry in the December 2018 issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association.

For more ways to be an antibiotic steward and reduce antimicrobial resistance in your community and in California, follow California Department of Public Health on Facebook and Twitter Nov. 12-18.

Topics: Patient Care

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