June 26, 2014 – Inappropriate antibiotics


Anchor lead:  Why do so many physicians continue to prescribe antibiotics in spite of guidelines? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Last time you had a respiratory infection you thought was bronchitis, did you ask your physician for an antibiotic?  This very common scenario was examined years ago by the United States Preventive Services Task Force, which issued guidelines advising docs to stop giving the drugs, but the most recent study shows that the majority still do.  Enid Neptune, a lung expert at Johns Hopkins, muses on why.

Neptune: Why do physicians prescribe antibiotics in situations where they don’t think they are at all effective? Some of that is the pressure that physicians get from patients who feel that they want an intervention, and many physicians don’t think that many antibiotics are harmful, and both of those assumptions are fraudulent.  :24

Neptune says both docs and patients need to stop seeking an antibiotic fix for conditions that are almost always caused by a virus.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.