A significant proportion of the Canadian population takes one or more antibiotic prescriptions each year, particularly children under the age of five and adults over the age of 65.2
While antibiotics are necessary to treat bacterial infections, antibiotic exposure can be associated with some adverse effects.3,4
- Disruption of the normal intestinal microbiota
- Disturbance of homeostasis
- Imbalance in which the gastrointestinal system is prone to infection by opportunistic pathogens.
- Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD)
- Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) and pseudomembranous colitis (infection of the large intestine with an overgrowth of Clostridium difficile bacteria).
Effective prevention and management of these complications is important.
- Stopping an antibiotic early due to AAD can lead to treatment failure or relapse and can promote antibiotic resistance.
- Patients who acquire a C. difficile infection (CDI) can face a life-threatening illness.