By Dennis Thompson
TUESDAY, May 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Nearly one-third of the antibiotics prescribed in the United States aren’t appropriate for the conditions being treated, a new federal government study shows.
“We were able to conclude that at least 30 percent of the antibiotics that are given in doctors’ offices, emergency departments and hospital-based clinics are unnecessary, meaning that no antibiotics were needed at all,” said lead researcher Dr. Katherine Fleming-Dutra.
Such misuse has helped fuel the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which infect 2 million Americans and kill 23,000 every year, said Fleming-Dutra, a pediatrician and epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Antibiotics are most misused in the treatment of short-term respiratory conditions, such as colds, bronchitis, sore throats, and sinus and ear infections, the researchers reported.
“About half of antibiotic prescriptions for acute respiratory conditions were unnecessary,” Fleming-Dutra said.