Since the introduction of penicillin, we all thought it would be awesome to use antibiotics a lot, and put them in everything. So we did.
Doctors prescribe antibiotics for more than 60% of adults with upper respiratory tract infections, which are usually caused by viruses. And a 2010 study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology found that doctors sometimes kept patients on antibiotics even after tests showed they had viral infections.
But it’s not just doctors. Uneducated patients demand them whenever they are sick, and the food industry likes to put them in everything (About 80% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. each year are for use in food animals).
That antibiotic abuse has created a huge and deadly problem. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are starting to get out of control. More and more people are getting sick from these super bugs and more and more people are dying from them.
Another side effect: we’re killing our friendly bacteria while we’re getting our antibiotic fix.
Carrington put together a cool graphic showing some of the good, bad and ugly of antibiotics. Check it out: