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Perspective
Less Is More
November 2014

More Than Skin Deep—The Costs of Antibiotic OveruseA Teachable Moment

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(11):1724-1725. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.4026

A 55-year-old man with a history of hyperlipidemia visited his primary care physician for evaluation of persistent sinus congestion in the late fall season. He reported cough and rhinorrhea with mucous but no purulent secretions for the prior 7 days. He was initially recommended supportive treatment and over-the-counter decongestants. He was also prescribed a 5-day course of azithromycin, which he had never taken before, with instructions to initiate the antibiotic and return for follow-up if he had symptomatic worsening.

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