Antibiotic surveillance and safety concerns

In the time since penicillin was discovered nearly 80 years ago, antibiotics have become one of the most important lifesaving weapons in doctors' arsenal against bacterial infection. Now, the Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix grocery store chain is giving away seven of these drugs free of charge to those who have prescriptions for them. Five of these are amoxicillin, ampicillin, cephalexin, erythromycin and penicillin VK -- are commonly used by doctors to treat bacterial infections ranging from ear infections to gonorrhea. But two of the drugs on the list -- ciprofloxacin and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim -- are high-grade antibiotics that doctors usually reserve for particularly serious infections. While some hail the program as a godsend, others fear that the move could lead to overuse of the drugs.

  • Control over antibiotics prescriptions
  • Vigilance on use of drugs
  • Vigilance on herbal products and food supplements
  • Use of antibiotics during pregnancy
  • Use of antibiotics in paediatrics
  • Side effects of antibiotics

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