According to recent research, American physicians are 60% more prone to over prescribe ultra-powerful antibiotics. However, these antibiotics are classified as “broad spectrum” meaning that they can treat more than one type of bacteria- BUT…what is worse is that 25% of these antibiotics are wrongly prescribed for patients who have infections spurred by a virus. Antibiotics are useless when treating any type of virus- antibiotics should only be taken in circumstances where the patient has an infection that is caused by bacteria.
This study that exposes the notion that doctors consistently over prescribe medications- was featured in the Journal Antimicrobial Chemotherapy on July 29.
Researchers investigated over 238 K people from age 18 and older that were treated in doctor’s offices, urgent care clinics, private practices, and emergency rooms. In all the drugs that the various physicians prescribed to various patients for different reasons and purposes, they discovered that 39% of antibiotics were narrow-spectrum classified, and that 61% of prescribed antibiotics were categorized as broad-spectrum drugs.
University of Utah School of Medicine infectious disease specialists, Dr. Adam Hersh also noted that although the focus of the study was antibiotics prescribed to adults- that the same types of statistics are demonstrated for in regards to pediatricians and doctors prescribing powerful antibiotics for mild bacterial infections as well as unnecessarily for virus related illnesses that are diagnosed improperly.
In addition, co author of the study, Dr. Lauri Hicks also adds:
“Antibiotic overuse among children and adults is a serious problem and a threat to everyone’s health”
Hersh states the following:
“Many antibiotics prescribed for children are unnecessary, particularly for conditions caused by viruses, where antibiotics don’t help at all,” he said in a university news release. “Even when an antibiotic is indicated, such as for strep throat or some ear infection, physicians often prescribe an antibiotic such as a Z-Pak, which can be less effective than amoxicillin.”
Over-prescribing of medications is becoming problematic for adults and children alike for a number of reasons. The needless consumption of medication can pose more risk than benefit, and also in a much broader scope result in antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when a person takes antibiotics and their system gets accustomed to them, then the bacterial infections also persevere as hybrid in nature. This makes it hard in some cases to treat people who are very ill, as they get more and more immune to antibiotics it leaves them with little room for options and longer recovery times.