About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

GPs Told to Stop Prescribing Antibiotics for 'Simple’ Coughs and Colds

by Vishnuprasad on August 5, 2014 at 12:51 PM
Font : A-A+

GPs Told to Stop Prescribing Antibiotics for 'Simple’ Coughs and Colds

Immediate measures must be taken to curb unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics, said health experts after a new study found that antibiotic prescriptions for coughs and colds increased by around 40% from 1999 to 2011.

Thirty-six per cent of patients were prescribed antibiotics for coughs and colds in 1999 but by 2011 this figure had soared to 51%, study stated. This is despite the fact that the Government issued guidance in 1998 advising GPs not to suggest antibiotics for simple coughs and colds.

Advertisement

Experts in the medical field from around the globe have recently warned of the ever-growing threat of antibiotic resistance - which has been fuelled by unnecessary prescribing of the drugs.

The new study, by experts at Public Health England (PHE) and University College London, also found there was 'substantial variation' in prescribing among different GP surgeries.  Researchers looked at more than 500 UK GP practices between 1999 and 2011 and found that some practices were twice as likely to provide a prescription for coughs and colds as those who dished out the fewest.
Advertisement

In 2011, the best performing practices were providing around 32% of patients antibiotics for coughs and colds compared to 65% in the worst performing GP surgeries. The research also found major variation in the proportion of female patients aged 16 to 74 who were given one type of antibiotics for urinary tract infections (UTIs).

During 2011, just 16% of these patients in some practices were prescribed a short course of trimethoprim for a UTI while 70% of those affected by the condition were given the drug in other parts of the country.

Lead author Professor Jeremy Hawker, a consultant epidemiologist at PHE, said that the extensive variation between practices showed significant scope to improve prescribing. 

"Although it would be inappropriate to say that all cases of coughs and colds or sore throats did not need antibiotics, our study strongly suggests that there is a need to make improvements in antibiotic prescribing. Previous research has shown that only 10% of sore throats and 20% of acute sinusitis benefit from antibiotic treatment, but the prescription rates we found were much higher than this.

The worry is that patients who receive antibiotics when they are not needed run the risk of carrying antibiotic resistant bacteria in their gut. If these bacteria go on to cause an infection, antibiotics will then not work when the patient really does need them," Jeremy Hawker said.

The study was published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

Source: Medindia
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
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
What's New on Medindia
Top 10 Vitamin B12 Foods for Vegetarians - Slideshow
Targeted Screening Program Beneficial for Prostate Cancer Screening
Are Menopause Symptoms Troubling You?: Try these Options
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
MRSA - The Super Bug Antibiotics Eye Infections Natural Antibiotics to Fight Bacterial Infections Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) Coughing up Blood Symptom Evaluation Boils - Treatment by Drugs Multiple Drug Allergy Syndrome Interaction of Antibiotics with Dairy Products Antibiotic Resistance - An Emerging Global Crisis 

Most Popular on Medindia

Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Hearing Loss Calculator Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Drug - Food Interactions Drug Side Effects Calculator The Essence of Yoga Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) Daily Calorie Requirements Blood - Sugar Chart Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam)

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

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
open close
CONSULT ONLINE WITH A DOCTOR