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JAMA Clinical Evidence Synopsis
December 24/31, 2014

Antibiotics for Acute Bronchitis

Author Affiliations
  • 1HRB Centre for Primary Care Research, Department of General Practice, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical School, Dublin
  • 2Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Dublin Center, Dublin, California
JAMA. 2014;312(24):2678-2679. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.12839

Clinical Question  Are antibiotics associated with improved outcomes in patients with acute bronchitis?

Bottom Line  Prescribing antibiotics for acute bronchitis was associated with reduced overall and nighttime cough and with an approximately half-day reduction in duration of cough, in days feeling ill, and in days with impaired activities. However, at follow-up, there were no significant differences in patients receiving antibiotics compared with those receiving placebo in overall clinical improvements or limitations in work or other activities. There was a significant increase in adverse effects in the antibiotic group, particularly gastrointestinal symptoms.

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