Inappropriate prescribing and overuse of antibiotics is a chronic and growing problem. We know that polypharmacy is a problem for older patients. In this issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Daneman et al show that many nursing home residents receive an overly long course of antibiotics, mostly related to provider characteristics. Because there is no known benefit to longer (>7 days) courses of antibiotics and multiple harms, including rashes, antibiotic resistance, and increased frequency of Clostridium difficile infection, this article earns a Less Is More designation.
Redberg RF. The Problem of Polypharmacy for Nursing Home Residents Comment on “Prolonged Antibiotic Treatment in Long-term Care: Role of the Prescriber”. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(8):683. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.292