Many physicians continue to overprescribe antibiotics to patients with a sore throat or acute bronchitis despite a lack of benefit for most cases, according to research presented in October at IDWeek 2013, a joint meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the HIV Medicine Association, and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.
Inappropriate antibiotic prescribing is among several factors contributing to a growing epidemic of antibiotic resistance in the United States, according to a report published in September by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (http://jama.md/1dYmAz7). The report estimates that each year, more than 2 million US individuals develop bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotics, resulting in 23 000 deaths. Despite the urgency of the situation, a pair of Harvard University researchers found that most patients who present with a sore throat or acute bronchitis receive an antibiotic, even though it is unlikely to help them and may contribute to the emergence of resistance.
Kuehn BM. Excessive Antibiotic Prescribing for Sore Throat and Acute Bronchitis Remains Common. JAMA. 2013;310(20):2135-2136. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.281452