Research Indicates Doctors are Overprescribing Antibiotics
Doctors Overprescribing Antibiotics
“When these antibiotics are overused, they’re less likely to work in the future when they’re needed.” – Adam L. Hersh, M.D., Ph.D, of the University of Utah as printed by Fox News.
- According to a study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2 years of research has found that doctors prescribe the strongest possible antibiotics 60% of the time.
- In 25% of these situations, the antibiotics were prescribed for viruses which antibiotics cannot treat.
- Researchers warned that overuse of antibiotics can not only lead to the drugs being less effective in future treatment, but can also kill “good” bacteria triggering problems like eczema, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and obesity.
Recommendations to Avoid Overusing Antibiotics
- According to the article, patients may be too eager in seeking medical treatment as most infections will go away on their own. In a situation in which your fever is below 102 degrees and you are able to function reasonably well, doctors recommend waiting to see if common symptoms worsen before scheduling an appointment.
- When applicable, ask your doctor for a narrow spectrum antibiotic. Unlike broad spectrum antibiotics which are used to treat multiple bacterial infections, narrow spectrum antibiotics are effective against a select group of bacteria. According to SRS Pharmaceuticals, by asking for narrow spectrum antibiotics in cases in which the cause of an infection is easily identifiable, i.e. skin rashes, you are reducing the number of beneficial bacteria that will be killed thus decreasing risks of super-infection.
- Always heed your doctor’s advice. If your doctor feels that your symptoms are caused by a virus or that an infection will dissipate on its own, then do not pressure them into giving you antibiotics. According to Fox News, doctors often cite patient pressure as a cause of inappropriate prescriptions.
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