Despite clear guidelines and extensive educational campaigns aimed at reducing overprescribing of antibiotics,1 the problem remains. At least 30% of antibiotic prescriptions dispensed in the outpatient setting—80 million prescriptions per year in the United States—are given without an appropriate indication.2-4 Viral upper respiratory tract infections represent a frequent diagnosis for this low-value care.
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Over many years I have seen many antibiotic prescriptions for viral infections where the patient is not a compromised host or elderly. It is a problem across all doctors' age groups. How does this change? Too many multiple antibiotic resistant bacteria. The medical community needs education.
Incze MA, Redberg RF, Katz MH. Overprescription in Urgent Care Clinics—The Fast and the Spurious. JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(9):1269–1270. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.1628
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