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.