MDs Issue Guidelines on Antibiotics

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Last week, doctors from the American Academy Of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine issued guidelines in hopes of limiting antibiotic use.

According to an ABC News report, the doctors feel that over-the-counter cold medications are a better choice in most cases of colds, coughs, and most sinus infections. From a medical perspective, taking in over-the-counter medications for colds may seem appropriate but there are natural and healthier ways to deal with colds, coughs, and sore throats.

The guidelines issued suggest that doctors should not prescribe antibiotics for most cases of colds, coughs, and sore throats because they (the antibiotics) do not help and the overuse of antibiotics is making them less effective against fighting other infections.

The goal of the organization is to lower total antibiotic consumption in the U.S. by 20 or 30 percent. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could lower total antibiotic consumption in the U.S. by 80 or 90 percent? That way those that really did need it would more likely get the results antibiotics were intended to provide.

According to the ABC News article, the Food and Drug Administration has proposed labeling on antibiotic prescriptions as a reminder for doctors to only prescribe them when absolutely necessary.

Another article from Cox News service states that “tens of millions of antibiotic prescriptions written by the nation’s doctors each year are worthless, wasteful and pose a growing danger to public health.”

According to the Cox News article, more than half of the 37 million visits made to medical doctors resulted in a prescription for antibiotics of which a group of physicians claims that in most cases the antibiotic does absolutely no good – and the doctors know it.

The idea that antibiotics work for conditions such as colds, sore throats, coughs, sinus infections, and bronchitis is pure myth, according to the article. Most of these infections resolve within two or three weeks state doctors.

From the Cox News article… “Doctors know better. They learn in medical school that antibiotics have no effect on the viruses that cause most upper respiratory infections. But they write millions of useless prescriptions a year anyway – often just to satisfy patients who demand them.”

Are doctors being pressured to prescribe antibiotics when they are not needed like some articles suggest? Or is there a lack of communication between the medical physician and their patients? If the patient does not need antibiotics they should be told so. Some are concerned that in today’s managed care setting doctors are more likely to prescribe drugs then to take the time to explain to folks why they don’t need antibiotics. Not only have the antibiotics failed, there is a failure to communicate and that is not good for anyone’s health.

ABC News: Doctors Issue Guidelines for Limiting Antibiotics Use
Nando Media: Doctors’ group calls for guidelines for antibiotic prescriptions
Cox News: Doctors’ Guidelines Target Antibiotic Overuse

Of the three links listed above, the Cox News article is best.
When available, we will typically provide several links that may appear similar since some web sites delete their content more regularly than others.

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