According to a new survey, it is found that doctors are prescribing unnecessary antibiotics for sore throats. A sore throat is the second most common symptom sending people to their doctor. Generally a sore throat is caused by a virus and will not respond to antibiotics. But researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention in Palo Alto, California, have found that doctors generally prescribe antibiotics anyway, regardless of whether they are needed. What's more they most often use an antibiotic not recommended for sore throat.
The survey analysed 2,000 physician visits by adults whose chief complaint was sore throat. Antibiotics were used in 73 per cent of visits, and of these prescriptions, 68 per cent were for non-recommended antibiotics. Over-use of antibiotics in this way increases the threat of antibiotic resistance. The more antibiotic resistance grows, the more likely it is that an antibiotic will not work when you really need it. Sometimes doctors give prescriptions more to please the patient than out of medical need.