CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Doctors say antibiotics are not working the way they used to, and they are putting a lot of the blame on themselves. Bacteria has become resistant to our most popular antibiotics.
Doctor Dennis W. Rhoades from Doctors Care admits doctors abused the easy solution, and he says it was so simple that they over-used the medicine.
"Well the problem is, it was so easy it was so simple, that many many many doctors over-used it," he said. "I'm one."
He says patients got used to the quick treatment and started to demand it. If you take antibiotics when you don't need to, it does more harm than good. It morphs bacteria that would never make us sick into something different that can. Bacteria also becomes resistant when prescriptions aren't finished.
"They're smart, and they realize, 'oh look you tried to kill me with that particular antibiotic, you didn't quite take the job' and the mutations then take over," Dr. Rhoades says.
Once bacteria changes, even the strongest antibiotic won't work anymore. Dr. Rhoades says too many doctors have abused our go-to antibiotics: amoxicillan penicillin and "z-packs," and we as patients are spoiled by the idea.
"People feel that well, I'm not gonna get better until I get that antibiotic pill, and it's a struggle daily to convince people they don't need it," Dr. Rhoades says.
Another thing doctors say we have become dependent on: hand sanitizer and ant-ibacterial cleaners. They have triclofin in them, which is a pesticide. It's morphing bacteria that normally wouldn't make us sick into something we don't know how to treat. Rhoades suggests going back to the original.
"Even viruses are killed by soap and water, so we wouldn't have to worry about super infections," he says.
Dr. Rhoades says soap and water kill 80 percent of bacteria that makes us sick. Studies show that antibacterial soaps and sanitizers do not kill more bacteria, he explains, and suggests buying organic products and not using hand sanitizer in the house, especially if your kids are using it at school.
Rhoades says avoid over-using an antibiotic; you can ask your doctor for more tests. There are blood and urine tests that can confirm a bacterial infection rather than just assuming, because you may just have a cold.
Dr. Rhoades says the worst is here because many antibiotics are not working and they need to find new cures. In the meantime, when you're feeling under the weather, you should try to stay hydrated, rest, and allow your body to get back to basics.