This week is Antibiotic Awareness Week. Its goal is to make sure people are taking the right dosages, following doctors’ orders and avoiding any antibiotic resistance.

Director of Infection Prevention Kassandra Foley and pharmacist Dr. Daniella Rodrigues work at St. Peter’s Health, and they have reminders about the threat of antibiotic misuse and resistance.

“Antibiotics are a precious resource. We can only utilize them, though, for bacterial infections,” Foley said. “They are not effective against a viral infection, which is what we see this time of year are colds, flus and even RSV that’s been in the news a lot.”

With a nationwide shortage of the popular antibiotic amoxicillin, there is a strong need for regulation and awareness of overprescribing antibiotics that are not needed.

“In light of all the shortages that we are having, we like to make sure we make the public aware of that,” Rodrigues said. “So, we conserve the inventory that we have for treating patients that actually need antibiotics for bacterial infections.”

"Don’t take antibiotics that you may have left over from a previous infection,” Foley added. “Take in the entire course of antibiotics. Even for your children or maybe your elderly parents, don’t expect the doctor to give you antibiotics if they tell you that it’s not necessary.”