Taking antibiotics for flu symptoms will not make you feel better if you have a virus. Some sore throats are caused by bacteria, but most are caused by viruses. Antibiotics fight against bacterial infections. For a virus you need an antiviral. Antiviral drugs are a second line of defense that can be used to treat flu (including seasonal flu and variant flu viruses) if you get sick. The first line of defense, is the flu shot. But if you didn’t get the flu vaccine this season, and fall ill with the flu your best bet is an antiviral drug. Antiviral drugs are prescription. Medications that fight against flu viruses in your body. Antiviral drugs are not sold over-the-counter. You need a prescription. Antiviral treatment works best when started soon after flu illness begins. When treatment is started within two days of becoming sick, it can shorten the time you are sick. It can also reduce the risk of complications such as respiratory complications and ear infections. Even if you cannot start the antiviral treatment within two days, starting them later can still be beneficial. There are four FDA-approved antiviral drugs recommended by the CDC to treat flu this season: Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate)- twice daily for 5 days Most common, comes in capsules and the cost without insurance is about $109.00 Relenza ( zanamivir) – twice
Attached are a few tools to use in educating your nursing staff regarding your facility’s antibiotic stewardship program.
GET SMART ABOUT ANTIBIOTICS All staff should know the basics about Antibiotic Stewardship Program in your facility. This is not limited to nursing staff, but must include housekeeping, administration, activities and dietary. Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs that can help fend off bacterial infection, but you can have too much of a good thing. Inappropriate use of antibiotics can expose patients to unwanted risks of complications, such as Clostridium difficile (diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever) or a serious allergic reaction. Overuse can also cause antibiotic resistance, meaning your body can become drug resistant to prescription treatment. In new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hospitals continue to use powerful antibiotics to fight infections, and bacteria grow increasingly immune to treatment. The study found that 55% of patients discharged received at least one dose of antibiotic during their hospital stay. Federal regulation requires nursing homes to have an Antibiotic Stewardship Program and a nurse dedicated to the prevention and control of infections. The CDC website has excellent nursing home specific tools and information on Antibiotic Stewardship. A good first step is the Checklist found at http://www.cdc.gov/longtermcare/pdfs/core-elements-antibiotic-stewardship-checklist.pdf