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March 18, 1998

Why Do Physicians Prescribe Antibiotics for Children With Upper Respiratory Tract Infections?

Author Affiliations

From the Respiratory Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga (Dr Schwartz); Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston (Dr Mainous); and Southern California Kaiser-Permanente Health Care Program, Panorama City (Dr Marcy).

JAMA. 1998;279(11):881-882. doi:10.1001/jama.279.11.881

The spread of antimicrobial resistance has engendered considerable recent interest among practicing physicians. The article by Nyquist and colleagues1 in this issue of JAMA is the third analysis from the 1992 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) database to examine the use, or more accurately the overuse, of antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections.1-3 Each article presents the premise that widespread antibiotic use contributes to the spread of resistance—a contention supported by ecological,4,5 epidemiological,6 and longitudinal studies.7,8