About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Doctors Prescribe Antibiotics too Often, Study

by Dr. Enozia Vakil on October 4, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Font : A-A+

 Doctors Prescribe Antibiotics too Often, Study

Doctors prescribe antibiotic medications to around 6 out of 10 patients complaining of a sore throat, even though just 1 is severe enough to require antibiotics, a new study revealed.

Overprescribing of antibiotics is dangerous because it contributes to the rise of superbugs that do not respond to treatment.


US health officials have repeatedly warned that nearly all major bacterial infections in the world are becoming resistant to the antibiotic treatment of choice.

The latest study by Michael Barnett and Jeffrey Linder at Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital included data on more than 8,100 visits to doctors' offices and emergency departments from 1997-2010.

Antibiotic prescribing rates were initially around 80 percent and have bottomed out at 60 percent for the past decade, said the research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Among adults seeking care with sore throat, the prevalence of group A Streptococcus (GAS) infection -- the only common cause of sore throat requiring antibiotics -- is about 10 percent," said the letter.

The research shows that despite concerns about rising resistance to antibiotics, physicians are not changing their habit of regularly prescribing remedies like penicillin, amoxicillin and erythromycin which may not be necessary.

"Despite decades of effort, we found only incremental improvement in antibiotic prescribing for adults making a visit with sore throat," said the letter in JAMA.

"The antibiotic prescribing rate dropped from roughly 80 percent to 70 percent around 1993 and dropped again around 2000 to 60 percent, where it has remained stable."

Researchers noted that their data did not include details on the severity of the sore throats, so it was impossible to judge whether the prescriptions given were appropriate.

"Antibiotic prescribing to patients who are unlikely to benefit is not benign. All antibiotic prescribing increases the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria," the doctors concluded.

"The financial cost of unnecessary antibiotic prescribing to adults with sore throat in the United States from 1997 to 2010 was conservatively $500 million."

Source: AFP


Recommended Reading

Latest Lifestyle News

Lose Weight for Your Heart's Sake
Is losing weight good for your heart? Yes,following an intensive behavioral weight loss program and making healthy lifestyle changes can help you lose weight and boost heart health
Prejuvenation can Help You Say Goodbye to Aging Skin
Prejuvenation could be the new skincare trend for anti-aging. Let's stay prejuvenated to stay young forever.
Walk a Mile to Get Rid of Blood Clots
Want to prevent blood clots? Then, start walking a mile for just 15 minutes every day to keep Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) at bay.
 Choosing The Right Shoe Can Keep You Healthy
An expert emphasizes the importance of choosing the right footwear for a healthy life and shares insights on selecting the right shoes for optimal overall well-being.
Power of Parental Bonds: Strong Relationships Linked to Better Health for Young Adults!
Strong parental relationships improve long-term health outcomes in adolescents, according to a new study.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Doctors Prescribe Antibiotics too Often, Study Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests