AMA Cautions Use of Antibacterials

Aug 22, 2002

Health24 reports that antibacterial soap and lotion do not prevent infections, and may actually be harmful, new research finds. An American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Scientific Affairs’s report published in the latest issue of the journal Archives of Dermatology finds that the indiscriminate use of antibacterial products can promote the growth of resistant strains of bacteria, potentially making an infection more resistant to treatment.

The manufacture and sales of antibacterial products, like disinfecting hand soaps and even dishwashing liquid have skyrocketed in recent years. Supermarket shelves are packed with products offering germ-fighting protection, even though there is no proof that such products can prevent infections better than regular soap, the report indicates.

The medical community discourages the widespread use of antibacterial products, because they are believed to promote the growth of bacteria resistant to disinfectants used in hospitals. The researchers advise that the use of ordinary soap and water should be enough to clean the home.

Moderator Comment: Will the AMA’s position on antibacterial products hurt the sale of these products? Will it have any effect on retailers’s use of these products for associate hygiene and food safety measures?

Doctors are prescribing antibiotics less often today
because of negative consequences associated with the overuse of these medications.
If the AMA sees this as a significant issue and the medical community begins
to push it could dramatically affect the manufacture and sale of antibacterial
soap, wipes, etc. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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