home
RSS
October 3rd, 2013
12:00 PM ET

Doctors still overprescribing antibiotics

With all the talk of "superbugs" and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, you might think prescriptions for unnecessary antibiotics is relatively infrequent, especially for conditions where these drugs rarely work.

New research from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston suggests the opposite. Dr. Michael L. Barnett, lead author, and Dr. Jeffrey A. Linder, senior author, found that prescriptions of antibiotics for sore throat and acute bronchitis are far more common than they should be.

"You have a viral infection for which the antibiotics are not going to help, and you’re putting a chemical in your body that has a very real chance of hurting you," Linder said. Side effects of antibiotics include diarrhea, vaginitis in women, interactions with other medications and more serious reactions in a small number of people.

Also concerning: When you take antibiotics, there's a chance the disease you're fighting - or other bacteria in your body - will mutate, making it more resistant to antibiotics in the future.

"People may have infections that are harder to treat down the line because we're overusing antibiotics today," Linder said.

Disturbingly, says Linder, if you have taken an antibiotic recently there is a measurable amount of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on and inside you. It's not possible to say any particular person is going to end up with an infection that's resistant to antibiotics because of taking these drugs. But science has shown that community levels of antibiotic use are related to rates of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, Linder said.

Results from two studies by Linder and Barnett were presented at IDWeek 2013, a meeting of health professionals, this week.

Sore throat

In a research letter published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers showed that while only 10% of adults with sore throat have strep, the specific condition requiring antibiotics, doctors prescribe antibiotics in 60% of sore throat cases.

The study authors used data from large nationally representative surveys of ambulatory care in the United States: The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. The surveys are sources of information on physicians and their practices.

Linder and Barnett analyzed data from 1997 to 2010 for more than 8,000 sore throat visits, from patients who did not have injuries, immunosuppression or other infectious diagnoses at the same time. Based on this information, they determined that physicians have been prescribing antibiotics in about 60% of sore throat visits since around 2000.

They also found that prescriptions for penicillin, the choice antibiotic for strep throat treatment, held steady at 9%, while the more expensive alternative azithromycin has been prescribed more and more. In 1997 to 1998, prescriptions for azithromycin for sore throat were too uncommon to reliably measure; in 2009 to 2010 it was prescribed in 15% of visits.

There are limitations to this study, however; the researchers have no way of knowing whether individual prescriptions for antibiotics are appropriate, and the surveys only include patients seen in clinic or emergency department settings.

"The financial cost of unnecessary antibiotic prescribing to adults with sore throat in the United States from 1997-2010 was conservatively $500 million," the study noted. The cost could have actually been 40 times more expensive because of diarrhea and other side effects from antibiotics.

Acute bronchitis 

Researchers also found alarming trends regarding antibiotic overprescribing for acute bronchitis using nationally representative surveys. This study, unlike the research letter, has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal but was presented at IDWeek 2013.

Ideally, says Linder, antibiotics would almost never be prescribed for acute bronchitis because of the abundance of evidence that they do not actually help this condition.

Yet the prescribing rate of antibiotics for acute bronchitis nationally has remained steady over the past 30 years around 73%, he said.

Researchers excluded anyone who had a chronic lung disease such as asthma and emphysema from this study.

Why so many antibiotics? 

Part of the problem of overprescribing is patient demand - people ask for antibiotics because they think these drugs will make them feel better. The other side of the coin is that many doctors have been prescribing antibiotics in abundance for years and are following old habits.

"I think there’s a discussion that should be happening between patient and doctor that doesn’t happen, that automatically leads to an antibiotic prescription," Linder said.

If you have a sore throat, for instance, you can tell your doctor that you want to know if you have strep - and that if you don't have it, you don't need an antibiotic.


soundoff (731 Responses)
  1. Esteban Forrest

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusuf-hanafy-82493b183

    May 11, 2021 at 21:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. horse hauler motorhome

    Everyone loves it when individuals get together and share views. Great website, keep it up!

    http://t.raptorsmartadvisor.com/.lty?url=https://ocrv.biz/rv-repair-shop-irvine-california

    May 11, 2021 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. horse trailer repair

    Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    https://members.practicegreenhealth.org/eweb/Logout.aspx?RedirectURL=http://youtube.com/watch?v=DP5ynTwOgXY

    May 11, 2021 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Mercedes Sprinter Service

    http://blackfive.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvfleetservices.com/promaster-van-conversion-shop-near-me

    May 11, 2021 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. watch repair fullerton

    I used to be able to find good advice from your content.

    https://cartridges.planetark.org/r/ocrv.club/junk-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 11, 2021 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. News

    This iss my first time pay a visitt at here and i am actually impressed to read all
    at alone place.

    May 11, 2021 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. купить кондиционер

    I'm impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that's both
    educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit
    the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that not enough people are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy I found this in my search for something concerning this.

    May 11, 2021 at 23:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Supplies Riverside

    http://derbent.slanho.ru/jump.php?target=http://youtube.com/channel/UChUH5GdtSzHx6V02C90mnfQ/videos

    May 11, 2021 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. 2500 Sprinter Van Repair

    I blog often and I seriously appreciate your content. Your article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your blog and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.

    http://gar86.tmweb.ru/bitrix/rk.php?goto=https://sprintervanrepairshop.com/promaster-van-conversion-shop-near-me

    May 11, 2021 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. rv upholstery

    https://nanostandards.ansi.org/banner_click.php?id=2&url=https://ocrvluxurycoaches.com/motorhome-mattress-repair-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. best car ac repair near me

    It’s hard to find experienced people for this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    http://radio.cancaonova.com/iframe-loader/?t=Dating Single: No Longer a Mystery – Rádio&ra=&url=https://theocrv.com/camper-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 02:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. motorhome repair shops near me

    An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you need to publish more about this issue, it may not be a taboo subject but typically people don't speak about these subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!

    http://southampton.ac.uk/~drn1e09/foaf/visualizer.php?url=http://youtube.com/watch?v=ds2aScsIDSE

    May 12, 2021 at 03:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. prostar collision

    http://directory.broomfieldenterprise.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvart.com/motorhome-blinds-repair-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 03:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. rv upholstery repair

    You are so cool! I don't think I've truly read a single thing like this before. So nice to find somebody with genuine thoughts on this topic. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that's needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

    https://www.etis.ford.com/externalURL.do?url=https://youtube.com/watch?v=4nNw9aLQIWM

    May 12, 2021 at 04:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. riverside collision provo

    https://rosreestr.gov.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?event1=&event2=&event3=&goto=https://ocrvcenter.org/rv-repair-shop-garden-grove-california

    May 12, 2021 at 05:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sprinter 2500 Front Glass Repair

    I really like reading through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

    http://yellowpages.observer-reporter.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleetautorepairshop.com/sprinter-van-maintenance-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. trailer repair nearby

    http://services.nfpa.org/Authentication/GetSSOSession.aspx?return=https://ocrv.guru/esurance-rv-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Concrete Lincoln NE

    Thanks very interesting blog!

    Feel free to visit my website – Concrete Lincoln NE

    May 12, 2021 at 08:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. rv plumbing leak

    http://wwwnuevo.jus.mendoza.gov.ar/c/blogs/find_entry?p_l_id=29236&noSuchEntryRedirect=https://ocrvcenter.org/digger-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. all class rv yorba linda

    https://www.newsletter.viamedica.pl/lt.php?c=1282&m=2481&nl=6&lid=20647&l=https://ocrvshop.com/rv-toilet-repair-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Van Auto Repair

    https://press.husqvarna-motorcycles.com/Mailing_Redirect.aspx?mailingid=37014&email=tomwebb@me.com&checkid=3ce553ad-a4c8-4cff-8157-9d296087b89f&redirect=https://boxtruckrepairshop.com/coachmen-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. furniture repair shops near me

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually feel this amazing site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the info!

    http://activity.jumpw.com/logout.jsp?returnurl=http://youtube.com/watch?v=TNkFg5uvXEs

    May 12, 2021 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. truck shop orange county california

    Howdy! I simply want to offer you a huge thumbs up for the excellent information you have got right here on this post. I'll be returning to your web site for more soon.

    http://www.digitalkamera.de/rdr?rdr=https://ocrv.biz/rv-frame-repair-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 18:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. collision experts fargo

    &PageName=login.asp

    May 12, 2021 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. rv appliance repair near me

    https://sh.shulcloud.com/track.php?id=4c5c111e733449a9a439790f0d4b1431&url=http://youtube.com/watch?v=mxg56z0lgWo

    May 12, 2021 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. remodeling near me

    I could not resist commenting. Well written!

    &kategorie=Werbung&linkbereich=Header

    May 12, 2021 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. safeco windshield repair

    http://southampton.ac.uk/~drn1e09/foaf/visualizer.php?url=https://ocrv.club/rv-repair-shop-west-chatsworth-california

    May 12, 2021 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. reupholster places near me

    http://enseignants.flammarion.com/Banners_Click.cfm?ID=86&URL=ocrvcenter.co/rv-repair-shop-manhattan-beach-california

    May 12, 2021 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Dent Repair Near Me

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this web site before but after looking at many of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely pleased I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

    https://www.1-800-steamer.cc/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=youtube.com/channel/UChUH5GdtSzHx6V02C90mnfQ/videos

    May 13, 2021 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Concrete Contractor Lincoln NE

    What's up, yup this article is in fact nice and I have
    learned lot of things from it about blogging. thanks.

    My web blog; Concrete Contractor Lincoln NE

    May 13, 2021 at 02:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Mercedes Sprinter Van Abs Repair

    https://eao.rtrs.ru/go/?q=https://commercialvanrepairshop.com/van-mechanic-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 03:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Repair Sprinter Freightliner

    https://publishing.brookes.ac.uk/?URL=commercialvanrepairshop.com/ford-cargo-van-repair-shop-near-meholostyak-stb-2021

    May 13, 2021 at 04:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Sprinter Van Repair Shops Near Me

    Your style is really unique in comparison to other people I've read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this page.

    http://cat.sustech.edu/cgi-bin/koha/tracklinks.pl?uri=//www.fleetservicesorangecounty.com/sprinter-van-wrap-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 04:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Entertainment System Near Me

    http://www.ftbl.com/Redirect.ashx?url=http://www.youtube.com/channel/UChUH5GdtSzHx6V02C90mnfQ/videos

    May 13, 2021 at 05:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. orange county trailer repair

    http://old.evermotion.org/stats.php?url=http://youtube.com/watch?v=swnJdHAlat8

    May 13, 2021 at 07:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Remodel Los Angeles

    Hi there, I do believe your website could possibly be having browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in Internet Explorer, it's got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, excellent blog!

    http://www.salesandcoupons.com/LinkTrack/Click.ashx?ID=7&url=http://yelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-yorba-linda

    May 13, 2021 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Sprinter Broken Flex Pipe Repair

    https://analytics.bluekai.com/site/16231?phint=event=click&phint=campaign=BRAND-TAB&phint=platform=search&done=https://fleetautorepairshop.com/delivery-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. satellite

    It's actually a great and helpful piece of info. I'm glad that you just sjared this helpful information with us.
    Please keep uss up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    May 13, 2021 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. box truck repair near me

    http://sys.labaq.com/cli/go.php?s=lbac&p=1410jt&t=02&url=http://youtube.com/watch?v=2Eo4vlebgmY

    May 13, 2021 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. bucket truck repair near me

    Hey there! I just would like to give you a big thumbs up for your excellent info you've got right here on this post. I'll be returning to your blog for more soon.

    http://www.elahmad.com/url.php?url=

    May 13, 2021 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. la palma motorhome

    http://click.linktech.cn/?m=chinapub&l=99999&l_cd1=0&l_cd2=1&tu=https://youtube.com/watch?v=mxg56z0lgWo

    May 13, 2021 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Sprinter Van Repair In Huntington Beach

    https://nowlifestyle.com/redir.php?k=9a4e080456dabe5eebc8863cde7b1b48&url=https://fleetservicerepairshop.com/luxury-van-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. tow truck repair shop

    http://forum.ragezone.com/redirect-to/?redirect=https://youtube.com/watch?v=Eu2tOC_LLic

    May 13, 2021 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. rv renovations near me

    You should be a part of a contest for one of the best websites on the internet. I'm going to recommend this site!

    https://members.practicegreenhealth.org/eweb/Logout.aspx?RedirectURL=https://ocrv.art/shasta-camper-collision-repair-paint-shop-near-me-orange-county

    May 14, 2021 at 02:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. how to repair rv blinds

    http://www.bookmerken.de/?url=https://ocrv.world/workstar-truck-collision-repair-paint-shop-near-me-orange-county

    May 14, 2021 at 04:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Technician Los Angeles

    I blog quite often and I really appreciate your content. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.

    https://ranchobelagonews.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=yelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-anaheim-4

    May 14, 2021 at 05:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. rv repair los angeles

    Your style is unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this blog.

    https://clixgalore.com/NoRedirect.aspx?ID=11387&AfID=225385&BID=111815&ER=1&RU=https://ocrvmotorcoaches.com/motorhome-roof-repair-near-me

    May 14, 2021 at 05:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. camper remodel supplies

    https://track.aftermarket.pl/track.php?ref=&url=https://ocrv.biz/camper-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 14, 2021 at 07:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Repair Body Rust On Sprinter Van

    https://iccadata.iccaworld.com/icca/linklog/linkref.cfm?user=member&goto=https://fleetrepairshops.com/van-maintenance-shop-near-me

    May 14, 2021 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. oc repair

    https://www.kvinfo.dk/visit.php?linkType=2&linkValue=http://youtube.com/watch?v=TNkFg5uvXEs

    May 14, 2021 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Leave a Reply to Goodhope


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.