June 27, 2104 – Stop asking
Anchor lead: Patients and physicians must cooperate to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use, Elizabeth Tracey reports
More than 70% of physicians still prescribe antibiotics for virally mediated respiratory infections patient’s self-diagnose as bronchitis, in spite of guidelines not to do so, a recent Journal of the American Medical Association study found. Yikes! Enid Neptune, a lung expert at Johns Hopkins, says such a practice has the potential to hurt us all.
Neptune: Now that we’re confronting the reality of these incredibly resistant bacteria for which we have no antibiotic, I think physicians are becoming more careful about the settings in which they prescribe antibiotics, and I hope that caution is also manifest in them explaining to patients why that level of cautious behavior is appropriate. :25
So next time your upper respiratory symptoms hang on, try the tincture of time rather than asking your provider for an antibiotic, and help everyone. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.