bannerHON
img
HONnews
HONnews
img PATIENT / PARTICULIER img PROFESSIONNEL DE SANTE img WEBMESTRE img
img
 
img
HONcode sites
Khresmoi - new !
HONselect
News
Conferences
Images

Themes:
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q
R S T U V W X Y Z
Browse archive:
2019: F J
2018: D N O S A J J M A M F

 
  Other news for:
Antibiotics
Common Cold
Influenza
Viruses
 Resources from HONselect
1 in 4 Antibiotic Prescriptions Isn't Needed: Study

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 25 percent of antibiotics prescribed in the United States are given for conditions they aren't meant to treat, a new study finds.

Antibiotics are miracle drugs that can cure deadly bacterial infections. But too often they are given to treat viral infections, such as colds and flu, for which they are ineffective.

And the overuse of antibiotics brings public health dangers, experts have been warning.

"Antibiotic prescribing is a major driver of the development of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics," said lead researcher Dr. Kao-Ping Chua, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are one of the greatest threats to health worldwide, he said.

Every year, 2 million Americans develop antibiotic-resistant infections and 23,000 die, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Given this, it is urgent for providers to eliminate inappropriate antibiotic prescribing, both for the sake of their own patients and for society more broadly," Chua said.

For the study, Chua and his colleagues studied insurance records of more than 19 million kids and adults under age 65. All patients were privately insured.

The researchers said more than 23 percent of prescriptions were inappropriate, or not medically justified. The inappropriate prescriptions were mostly for colds, chest infections and coughs.

About 36 percent of the prescriptions might have been appropriate but unnecessary, because they were for conditions like sinusitis and sore throats, which can be viral.

Most of the inappropriate prescriptions came from doctor offices, urgent care centers and emergency rooms. Almost 29 percent of prescriptions had no diagnosis code and might be inappropriate because some were given based on phone or online consultations, the study found.

Researchers found that 1 in 7 patients filled at least one unnecessary antibiotic prescription in 2016. That translates to 1 in 10 kids and about 1 in 6 adults.

"The most recent national studies on antibiotic overuse in the U.S. used older data from the first half of this decade," Chua said. "Our study shows that despite widespread quality improvement efforts, inappropriate antibiotic prescribing was still rampant in 2016."

Dr. Marc Siegel, professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, is convinced inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions are more widespread than this study found.

"We overprescribe antibiotics in a big way for sure," he said.

The reasons are many and varied. For one, Siegel said, nearly all upper respiratory infections are viral, but many doctors fear missing the rare bacterial infection and prescribe an antibiotic just in case. And patients often demand them.

Doctors need to ask more questions about the patient's condition before writing a prescription, he said.

"It's a clinical decision whether to prescribe antibiotics," Siegel said. "We tend to rely on wanting to make the patient feel better."

While doctors often think there's no harm in giving a pack of antibiotics, doing so can cause problems for some patients.

For example, patients with heart conditions may develop an irregular heart rhythm from some antibiotics, Siegel said. Antibiotics may also kill off children's gut bacteria, putting them at risk for allergies, he added.

"Patients shouldn't push their doctors for antibiotics," Siegel said. "Physicians, don't feel pressured to give a pill that may not be necessary."

The report was published online Jan. 16 in the peer-reviewed medical journal The BMJ.

More information

The Mayo Clinic offers more about antibiotics.

SOURCES: Kao-Ping Chua, M.D., assistant professor, pediatrics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Marc Siegel, M.D., professor, medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; Jan. 16, 2019, BMJ, online

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=741632

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Infection
Research Personnel
Adult
Heart
Bacterial Infections
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


Home img About us img MediaCorner img HON newsletter img Site map img Ethical policies img Contact