5 thoughts on “Claim: Antibiotics inappropriately prescribed 30% of the time”

  1. In medical school (1960s-70s) we were repeatedly told by the professors that the physicians in private practice were creating an enormous problem by overprescribing antibiotics. This would surely lead to multiple antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria with all the attendant problems. Like so many well intended theories, this did not pan out but the theory lives on and thrives to this day. In over forty years of medical practice I have never seen any scientifically credible evidence of harm from this “excessive” use of antibiotics. One outcome that certainly resulted from the “overuse” of antibiotics was the complete eradication of rheumatic fever—a disease that was once a common and serious problem for young children and the major cause for valvular heart disease later in life for those who survived.

  2. Right or wrong, I have heard this for the last 50 years or so. I swear, two days after penicillin came out, this sort of report appeared.
    When I read about this report my reaction was: Wow, they get paid to repeat what been said for 50-60 years now and they get to patted on the back for their break-through discovery.
    The question is: can you NOT give an antibiotic if you think it will help?

  3. Sigh. Another useless study based on “estimates” by the “researchers.”

    Every one of these diagnoses are location + symptom. (“Sinusitis” = “sinuses” + “inflammation.”) There is no cause in the diagnosis. All of them could be bacterial = treat with antibiotics, or viral = don’t treat with antibiotics, or (occasionally) viral + opportunistic bacterial = treat with antibiotics again.

    The only way that a study like this would be useful would be to take a sample of the location from every patient coming through ambulatory care, culture them, and THEN say whether the treatment prescribed on the spot was appropriate. Coupled with the detailed explanations from the treating physicians on why they went one way or the other (yeah, right, they have time for this?), and you MIGHT make a difference in health care by improving the education of physicians.

    But, no, the solution is to stop prescribing them unless you are ABSOLUTELY certain – regardless of the number of deaths that may happen among those that present with a NON-resistant strain of bacterial infection. And make sure that pharmaceutical companies don’t make “obscene” profits – profits used to develop the next generation of antibiotics that can kill the resistant ones.

    Apologies for the long rant. I get so tired of the “just surrender to nature” monkeys…

  4. I have herd this since the late 1960s. After almost 50 years, doesn’t this count as old news?

  5. Did the authors of this report list any criteria by which antibiotic chemotherapy should be considered appropriate?

    Or did they just “blank out”?

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