Are Drugs for Bronchitis Being Over Prescribed?

Why doctors over prescribe any medication is a mystery. Physician should be aware of what is needed – namely immediate relief. There is a point where any medication needs to be discontinued. The problem with antibiotics is that remaining bacteria tend to become immune. Their progeny may now become antibiotic resistant. The below study faults the over prescribing physician’s role in this dilemma.

Studies have stressed concern over the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of health issues. Now, a recent study conducted by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass., shows that doctors who continue to over prescribe antibiotics unknowingly may prevent the number of effective treatments for a particular illness.

“Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live healthier and benefit from modern medicine,” said Dr. Keiji Fukuda, via The Los Angeles Times. “Unless we take significant actions … the implications will be devastating.”

For the study, researchers examined the antibiotic resistance rate for bronchitis, which occurs when the lining of the bronchial tubes become inflamed. Researchers collected information through two national surveys that monitored patients who sought out medical care from clinics or hospital emergency departments. From 1996 to 2010, researchers identified 3,153 patients with acute bronchitis.

They prescribed antibiotics more frequently today than they did before during the 14-year study period. Findings showed that 71 percent of the participants were treated with some kind of antibiotics, while 36 percent also received a prescription for an extended macrolide and 35 percent received a prescription for broad-spectrum antibiotics. Seventy-two of the primary care physicians were also prescribed some kind of antibiotic for acute bronchitis, while 69 percent of ED doctors also prescribed it.

Forty years of clinical trials have shown that repeated antibiotic use is ineffective in treating acute bronchitis. According to the background information provided in the study, both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set have stressed that doctors should not prescribe antibiotics for acute bronchitis.

article source: Kathleen Lees First Posted: May 21, 2014 01:15 PM EDT
photo source: Flickr/Martin Cathrae


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