Friday, 29 July 2016

Link Between Antibiotics And Serious Infection Rates

Researchers opine that reducing antibiotic prescription does not increase the incidence of infection rate. A study was conducted to see the impact of prescribing antibiotics by physicians for respiratory tract infections (RTIs). Experts were interested in finding what happens when GPs do not prescribe antibiotics for self-limiting RTIs.

Respiratory tract infections include cold, cough, sore throat and chest congestion that usually reduce without any medical intervention. Antibiotics are not recommended to treat RTIs, as they are caused by viral infections. Typically, to manage RTIs, common cough & cold medicines are advised. Researchers claim that use of antibiotics in mild to moderate RTIs can contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance is developed when you use antibacterial drugs unnecessarily, irregularly, haphazardly, frequently and excessively. This means you develop a resistant to that particular antibiotic and the medicine fails to cure the infectious condition. In such case, you may need other antibiotic to treat the bacterial infection.  

The study aimed to evaluate whether the incidence of few diseases was higher in practices that advised antibiotics for self-limiting RTIs. The results found that reduction in antibiotic prescription was not linked to greater risk of RTIs, expect pneumonia.

Nevertheless, the findings cannot confirm the exact cause and effect. The study was analysed from a population perspective so it was not able to deal with changes or variations in prescription.       
Researchers hope that these finding can help in the context of broader communication strategies to encourage and support the proper use of antibiotics by healthcare professionals and patients. They also recommend people not to use antibiotics unnecessarily.

The bottom-line is to avoid antibiotics if you suffer from common cold and flu. If the symptoms do not subside, visit your doctor. If the infection is due to bacterial invasion, you need an antibiotic course, which you should take exactly as prescribed. It is important to complete the course of therapy even if you feel better within a day or two.