2017 Antibiotic Awareness Week (formerly “Get Smart Week”), November 13 to 19, is an annual one-week observance to raise awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use. This week helps to increase awareness of improving appropriate use of antibiotics in communitiesin healthcare facilities, and even on the farm!

Each year in the United States at least two million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem, and the main cause of this problem is the misuse of antibiotics. Everyone has a role to play in improving antibiotic use. Using antibiotics wisely is the best way to ensure they work for future bacterial infections and prevent unnecessary side effects associated with antibiotic use.

Here are some tips on how to use antibiotics wisely:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider about when antibiotics are appropriate and ask about antibiotic resistance.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about how to relieve the symptoms of your illness.
  • Ask your healthcare provider what infection an antibiotic is treating, how long antibiotics are needed, and what side effects might happen.
  • Take antibiotics only when prescribed and exactly as prescribed.
  • Always finish the full amount of your antibiotic and do not stop taking the antibiotics unless your doctor tells you to stop the treatment.
  • Don’t save an antibiotic for later or share the drugs with someone else.

Our Healthcare-Associated Infection Program is supporting 2017 Antibiotic Awareness Week by joining the global Twitter chat, distributing promotional kits, and raising awareness of antibiotic resistance. Healthcare facilities are encouraged to join our efforts by sharing their experiences in the global Twitter chat or by registering for promoting this event. Those who register will receive a promotional kit containing items that remind healthcare providers and their patients about the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use. For additional information about when antibiotics are appropriate, please visit CDC website.