Arkansas ranks high when it comes to overuse of antibiotics - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arkansas ranks high when it comes to overuse of antibiotics

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas falls at number seven in the top 10 of states that abuse antibiotics.

"They think the z-pack caused them to get better when in reality they got better on their own," said St. Bernards Doctor Shane Speights.

Dr. Speights said this has become a big problem. People think they need an antibiotic when actually it's our bodies that fight the virus.

"Antibiotics work for bacterial infections. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections," said Dr. Speights.

Why the overuse? Speights said there are many factors as to why Arkansas has made its way to the top of the list.

"They have 20, 30 or 40 patients a day. It's just really difficult for that provider to take the time and to go over all that information and explain to the patient," said Dr. Speights.

Patients claim they need the antibiotic when really there's no need for it.

"About 80 percent of the time when an antibiotic was prescribed it was not indicated. Likely, it was prescribed as a use for a virus," said Dr. Speights.

What Doctors are finding is that overuse of a  z-pack can cause other health related issues.

"Now we're actually seeing heart rhythm irregularities associated with the typical z-pack," said Dr. Speights.

Trusting your doctor can keep your health better off in the long run, even if the sickness might last a couple of days.

"Don't be too hard on your doctor when he or she says this is viral and you don't need an antibiotic they are only doing what's best for you," said Dr. Speights.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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