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J Fam Pract. 2017 Dec;66(12):730-736.

Antibiotic overprescribing: Still a major concern.

Author information

1
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Reno, NV, USA. Email: dfiore@medicine.nevada.edu.
2
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Reno, NV, USA.

Abstract

Despite universal agreement that antibiotic overprescribing is a problem, the practice continues to vex us. Antibiotic use--whether appropriate or not--has been linked to rising rates of antimicrobial resistance, disruption of the gut microbiome leading to Clostridium difficile infections, allergic reactions, and increased health care costs. And yet, physicians continue to overprescribe this class of medication. A 2016 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report estimates that at least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in US outpatient settings are unnecessary. Another report cites a slightly higher figure across a variety of health care settings. Pair these findings with the fact that there are currently few new drugs in development to target resistant bacteria, and you have the potential for a post-antibiotic era in which common infections could become lethal. Family practitioners are on the front lines of this battle. Here's what we can do now.

PMID:
29202142
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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