Viral Prescription

Introduction for Consumers

The federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one-third of the 150 million yearly prescriptions for antibiotics are unnecessary and actually aid in the development and spread of drug-resistant germs.

In 2000, The New York State Department of Health joined with the health care community to combat the rising rates of antibiotic resistant germs. In doing so, this team developed a Viral Prescription. The purpose of the Viral Prescription is to present appropriate methods to manage a viral upper respiratory infection, such as a cold, cough, flu, bronchitis, or sore throat, and provide tools to educate patients as to the reasons why an antibiotic is not always necessary. Within the Viral Prescription, we offer general instructions for managing the symptoms of a cold, cough, flu, bronchitis or sore throat, provide possible over-the-counter medications which may be helpful in relieving symptoms, and a section for follow-up monitoring by the practitioner.

Unnecessary use of antibiotics for common viral illnesses results in the promotion of drug resistant germs by the time a course of antibiotics is completed. This affects both the individual and the community as resistance can be easily spread from person to person. We need your help to not demand or expect an antibiotic during a visit; it may not be the best treatment for your illness.

Let's work together to stop the spread of these very harmful germs!