New research shows Kentucky is one of the top five states overusing antibiotics.
Since 1999, the percentage of antibiotics prescribed nationwide has dropped by 17%, but Kentucky is still one of the top states overusing the prescription drugs. Research shows that using antibiotics too much can make it difficult to treat common infections with currently available antibiotics, because they become less effective.
According to researchers at the Center For Disease Dynamics, the five states with the highest antibiotic use in the nation were Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The five states with the least antibiotic use were Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington.
Researchers say there are simple steps Kentucky residents can take to prevent overuse of antibiotics.
1. Remember to get vaccinated.
2. Do not ask for antibiotics when your doctor doesn't prescribe them for your or your child.
3. Be sure to take antibiotics exactly as prescribed.
4. Do not skip doses and complete the full course of treatment.
5. Be diligent about hand hygiene