Fergus Falls Optometric Center
"Family Eyecare from the Eyecare Family."
Dr. Mark D. Olmsted and Dr. Christine A. Olmsted
117 E. Lincoln Ave.
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
Appointments: 218-736-7555

Following Antibiotic Prescription Directions - 14 Feb 2005

Following Antibiotic Prescription Directions
13 Feb 2005

Following Antibiotic Prescription DirectionsWhen being treated for an eye infection, it is very important to use the prescribed antibiotics as directed. Of course, this advice is true for any antibiotics used to treat any kind of infection in the body. You must resist the far too common practice of stopping the treatment regimen when the eye first starts to feel better. For instance, if you were given eye drops to be used four times a day for one week, but symptoms subside after 3 days, don’t stop the treatment. Please continue to use the medication for the rest of the course.

Why is this so important? First of all, when the antibiotics start winning the battle with the offending agents, you will start to feel better, but some of the bacteria will still be present. This can result in a rebounding of the infectious process, taking you back to square one. You must continue the whole schedule of therapy to ensure that ALL the bacteria are killed. While very important, this is just the small picture that affects you as an individual.

Secondly, when looking at the bigger picture, if you stop treatment early and some of the bacteria survive, there is the risk of creating a mutated strain of the bacteria which is now resistant to the medication that you have been using. This new strain could affect someone else someday. “But the infection went away.” you might say to yourself. Your body’s immune system would have taken care of the remaining bugs that the medication hadn’t quite killed off, but next the time you might not be so fortunate.

The response to this has been the continued development of new drugs to combat these tougher bugs. Three new “big guns” recently added to our anti-infection eye drop arsenal are: Zymar, Vigamox, and Quixin. The unfortunate side-effect of newer medication is that they tend to have a higher price tag.

There are getting to be more antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria around the world. There are number of factors for this, which I won’t get into due to the limits of this article. However, the one factor that you can personally help to control is to use any antibiotics until the very end of the prescribed therapy.

Dr. Mark D. Olmsted