The medical profession in New Brunswick agrees that antibiotics are being overused and is discouraging unnecessary use.
New Brunswick Medical Society president Dr. Dharm Singh says antibiotics should not be used for viral infections such as the cold or the flu but only for bacterial infections.
“Each year, 25 million antibiotic prescriptions are written (in Canada). And about 30 to 50 percent of these prescriptions are not necessary,” he notes.
Dr. Singh says overuse is a major contributor to antibiotic resistance and also could eventually lead to running out given the lack of new antibiotics being developed.
Side effects such as an upset stomach are also common.
Doctors across the province are being urged to provide patients with viral infections with some common advice such as get plenty of sleep and drink lots of liquids rather than writing prescriptions for antibiotics.