Antibiotic Awareness Week 2021
November 19, 2021
Antibiotic Safety Through Education and Awareness
Denver Health is joining with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to advise patients and their families to use antibiotics only when necessary to further reduce antibiotic resistance, the spread of superbugs and protect from side effects from antibiotics. During U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week and beyond, the CDC promotes "Be Antibiotics Aware," an educational effort to raise awareness about the importance of safe antibiotic use. In 2021, U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week is November 18 – 24.
The "Be Antibiotics Aware" initiative educates the public about when antibiotics are needed, when they are not, how to take antibiotics appropriately and potential side effects of antibiotics.
The CDC encourages patients and families to:
- Get the facts about antibiotics. Antibiotics do NOT work on viruses, such as those that cause colds, flu or COVID-19. When antibiotics aren't needed, they won't help you, and the side effects could still cause harm.
- Ask your healthcare professional about the most appropriate treatment for you or your loved ones' illness. If antibiotics are not needed, ask about the best way to feel better while your body fights off the virus.
- If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
- Talk with your healthcare professional if you develop any side effects, especially severe diarrhea, since that could be a Clostridioides difficile (or C. diff) infection, which needs to be treated immediately.
- Do your best to stay healthy and keep others healthy. Clean hands by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol; cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; stay home when sick; and get recommended vaccines, such as the flu and COVID-19 vaccine.
Denver Health Antibiotic Stewardship Program
Denver Health has an Antibiotic Stewardship Program. This is a team of physicians and pharmacists who work with the providers at Denver Health to help them make the best decisions about prescribing antibiotics for you and your family. This team has developed and provided many resources to your providers so they can make the best decisions about when it is appropriate to prescribe an antibiotic, which antibiotic is the best for your type of infection, what dose is most appropriate for you and for how long you should be treated.
Denver Health has been named an Antimicrobial Stewardship Center of Excellence by the Infectious Disease Society of America.