Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High rates of unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics continue

Date:
October 3, 2013
Source:
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Summary:
For decades, there has been a significant effort to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing. Despite this work, new research finds only incremental improvement in antibiotic prescribing for adults with acute bronchitis and sore throat.

For decades, there has been a significant effort led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing. Despite this work, new research from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) finds only incremental improvement in antibiotic prescribing for adults with acute bronchitis and sore throat. These findings were presented at IDWeek on October 3, 2013 and the sore throat data was published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Related Articles


"We know that antibiotic prescribing, particularly to patients who are not likely to benefit from it, increases the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a growing concern both here in the United States and around the world," said Jeffrey A. Linder, MD, MPH, a physician and researcher in the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care at BWH and senior author of the paper. "Our research shows that while only 10 percent of adults with sore throat have strep, the only common cause of sore throat requiring antibiotics, the national antibiotic prescribing rate for adults with sore throat has remained at 60 percent. For acute bronchitis, the right antibiotic prescribing rate should be near zero percent and the national antibiotic prescribing rate was 73percent."

Linder and lead author, Michael L. Barnett, MD, measured changes in the prescribing of antibiotics for adults with sore throat and acute bronchitis using nationally representative surveys of ambulatory care in the United States from 1996 -- 2010. The data represented an estimated 39 million acute bronchitis and 92 million sore throat visits by adults to primary care clinics or emergency departments.

The researchers found that although visits for sore throats decreased from 7.5 percent of primary care visits in 1997 to 4.3 percent of visits in 2010, the overall national antibiotic prescribing rate did not change with physicians prescribing antibiotics at 60 percent of visits. There was no change in the percentage of emergency department visits for sore throat during the time period (2.2-2.3 percent). The number of acute bronchitis visits increased from 1.1 million visits in 1996 to 3.4 million visits in 2010.

The data also show that prescriptions of penicillin, the antibiotic recommended to treat strep throat, remained at 9 percent while prescribing for azithromycin, a more expensive antibiotic, increased from being too infrequent to measure reliably in1997-1998 to 15 percent of visits in 2009-2010.

The researchers also noted an increase in the antibiotic prescribing rate in emergency rooms, from 69 percent to 73 percent, during the same 14-year period.

"In addition to contributing to the prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, unnecessary use of antibiotics also adds financial cost to the health care system and causes adverse effects for those taking the medication," said Barnett. Most sore throats and cases of acute bronchitis should be treated with rest and fluids and do not require a visit to the doctor," he added.

In light of these findings, research efforts are now underway to develop and implement interventions that reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for respiratory infections.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brigham and Women's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael L. Barnett. Antibiotic Prescribing to Adults With Sore Throat in the United States, 1997-2010. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.11673

Cite This Page:

Brigham and Women's Hospital. "High rates of unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics continue." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131003121256.htm>.
Brigham and Women's Hospital. (2013, October 3). High rates of unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics continue. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131003121256.htm
Brigham and Women's Hospital. "High rates of unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics continue." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131003121256.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins