Despite Guidelines, Antibiotics Prescribed at High Rate for Bronchitis

Even though well-established guidelines stating the antibiotic prescribing rate for acute bronchitis should be zero, the prescribing rate was about 70 percent from 1996-2010, according to a study recently published in JAMA.

Researchers used data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey for the study. In 3,153 sampled acute bronchitis visits between 1996 and 2010, the overall antibiotic prescription rate was 71 percent, and the rate increased over the 15-year period. This is despite the fact that 40 years of trials have shown antibiotics are not effective for the condition.

"Avoidance of antibiotic overuse for acute bronchitis should be a cornerstone of quality healthcare," the study's authors concluded. "Antibiotic overuse for acute bronchitis is straightforward to measure. Physicians, health systems, payers and patients should collaborate to create more accountability and decrease antibiotic overuse."

More Articles on Antibiotics:
Representatives Introduce Bill Urging Development on Antimicrobial Stewardship
Fighting Fire With Fire: When an Antibiotic Can Help Fight Antibiotic Resistance
5 Stories, Studies on Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

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