Guthrie Recommends Cautious Use of Prescription Antibiotics

A new study published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy found that one in twenty adults have misused antibiotics by hoarding them or taking “leftovers” without a prescription. Guthrie recommends cautious use of antibiotics, only with a prescription, in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Evidence shows that over using antibiotics for conditions that don’t require them leads to dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It is important that we save antibiotics for conditions that can be appropriately treated by them,” says Dr. Christopher Fucito, a family medicine physician at Guthrie. “Patients should never take antibiotics that are leftover from a previous prescription or prescribed to someone else. Future generations will thank us for our diligence.”

Unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics put patients at risk of side effects such as allergic reactions, cardiac effects and antibiotic resistant infections such as C. diff, an infection that causes serious, sometimes lethal diarrhea.

According to a report recently released by the CDC, nearly one in three antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary. For ailments such as viral respiratory conditions, including common colds, viral sore throats, cases of bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections, antibiotics are often an ineffective treatment. Patients should talk to their health care providers about when antibiotics are needed and when they are not, and should never take antibiotics without a prescription or to treat a different illness. Guthrie now offers MedSafe® drug disposal units in its main outpatient pharmacy in Sayre, at Guthrie Corning Hospital, and at Guthrie Towanda Memorial Hospital where the public can safely and anonymously dispose of old medications, including antibiotics.

Details on the full study can be found here:

Guthrie is a non-profit integrated health system located in north central Pennsylvania and Upstate New York, serving patients from an 11-county service area. Guthrie is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, and is the first health system based in Pennsylvania and New York to join this network. Guthrie is comprised of a research institute, home care/hospice, hospitals in Sayre, Pa., Corning, N.Y., Towanda, Pa., and Troy, Pa., as well as a multi-specialty group practice of more than 290 physicians and 175 mid-level providers in a regional office network encompassing sub-specialty and primary care sites in 23 communities throughout Pennsylvania and New York.  Guthrie offers a wide range of services and programs designed to enhance the health and well-being of those it serves.