Be Antibiotics Aware: Improve antibiotic use to combat antib
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At least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary, according to new data published in JAMA by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC researchers found that most of these unnecessary antibiotics are prescribed for respiratory conditions caused by viruses – including common colds, viral sore throats, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections – which do not respond to antibiotics.

These 47 million excess prescriptions each year put patients at needless risk for allergic reactions or the sometimes deadly diarrhea, Clostridium difficile.

The researchers also estimated the rate of inappropriate antibiotic use in adults and children by age and diagnosis. These data will help inform efforts to improve antibiotic prescribing over the next five years.

The fight to stop antibiotic resistance, health care professionals, health systems, and patients must take these actions to improve antibiotic use:

• Outpatient health care providers can evaluate their prescribing habits and implement antibiotic stewardship activities, such as watchful waiting or delayed prescribing, when appropriate, into their practices.

• Health systems can improve antibiotic prescribing in offices and outpatient facilities within their networks by providing communications training, clinical decision support, patient and health care provider education, and feedback to providers on their performance.

• Patients can talk to their health care providers about when antibiotics are needed and when they are not. These conversations should include information on patients’ risk for infections by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Source: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/buying-using-medicine-safely/antibiotics-and-antibiotic-resistance, https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0503-unnecessary-prescriptions.html
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