Overprescribing Antibiotics Still an Issue
July 29, 2015
Antibiotics are important drugs used to fight bacterial infections, but they do not work against viral infections. Most acute respiratory infections (ARIs), such as bronchitis or the common cold, are caused by viral infections, yet 1 in 10 health care providers prescribe antibiotics to treat these infections. In a recent study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers looked at the national trends in antibiotic prescriptions written for ARIs in an outpatient setting at a Veteran's Affairs health clinic settings over an 8-year period. The study found that 68.4% of patients with an ARI received an antibiotic prescription. The highest prescribing antibiotic prevalence indication was bronchitis (85%), which does not require antibiotic use in the majority of cases.