Antibiotics save untold numbers of human lives every day. Modern medicine depends on their ability to treat and prevent infections such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), tuberculosis, and E. coli. Yet drug-resistant bacteria are spreading across the nation, and antibiotics are losing their effectiveness.
Take our quiz and see how much you know about antibiotics.
? Without effective antibiotics, it may become too dangerous to safely carry out which treatment(s)?
- Hip replacements
- Organ transplants
+ All of the above
/ Patients undergoing surgical procedures or being treated with immunosuppressive drugs, such as those used in chemotherapy, are at increased risk of infection.
? Antibiotics can cause which adverse event(s)?
- A rash
- Nausea and vomiting
+ All of the above
/ It’s important to take antibiotics only when needed. These drugs can be life-saving, but they can also have side effects. The adverse events listed here are among the most common, but in rare cases, side effects can be serious and life-threatening.
? What percentage of antibiotics prescribed for human use is unnecessary or inappropriate?
- 10 percent
- 30 percent
+ 50 percent
/ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that "up to 50 percent of all the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed."
- 70 percent
? How much does the U.S. health care system spend annually on antibiotic-resistant infections?
- $1 billion
- $2 billion
- $10 billion
+ $20 billion
/ Studies estimate that antibiotic-resistant infections cost the U.S. more than $20 billion in health care expenditures, $35 billion in societal costs from lost productivity, and 8 million extra days in the hospital. For more information, visit this CDC Web page.
? If you have a fever and green discharge from your nose, you’ll definitely need to be treated with antibiotics.
/ Many viral infections, including sinus infections, can cause a high fever and dark green mucosal discharge from the nose. These symptoms are rarely the result of bacterial infections and, therefore, most often do not require antibiotics.