Advice for Prescribing Antibiotics
In a paper published in the Annuls of Internal Medicine by the American College of Physicians (ACP), the authors in combination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention give advice to physicians on prescribing antibiotics for acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs).
The president of the ACP said, “Inappropriate use of antibiotics for ARTIs is an important factor contributing to the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections, which is a public health threat.” Therefore reducing the prescribing by physicians of antibiotics for ARTIs is an important goal in an attempt to slow and/or prevent the continued rise in antibiotic resistance.
ARTIs, including the common cold, uncomplicated bronchitis, sore throat, and sinus infection, are the most common reason for doctor’s office visits. According to the CDC, an estimated 50 percent of antibiotic prescriptions may be unnecessary or inappropriate in the outpatient setting. There are also many side effects of antibiotics. The authors suggest telling patients to wait out the cold, etc and follow up if symptoms worsen or last longer than two weeks. Antibiotics should be reserved for more serious cases.
For more information, read the full study.