(KAIT/KATV) - Antibiotics can be a life-saving drug but they are being prescribed in Arkansas at a much higher rate than the national average, according to a report by ABC affiliate KATV in Little Rock.
Arkansas ranks sixth in the nation when it comes to prescribing antibiotics per capita, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
"We give out more than one prescription for every person in Arkansas each year," said Dr. Gary Wheeler, chief medical officer for the Arkansas Department of Health.
Antibiotics have their place in medicine and their overuse or misuse can result in the medicine not being effective. That could result in superbugs, or antibiotic-resistant infections, that could become extremely difficult to treat.
Wheeler said ADH is encouraging doctors to curtail the prescription of antibiotics and encouraging patients to ask doctors if an antibiotic is necessary for treatment or not.
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