Order for nothing? 7 in 10 doctors give patients unnecessary antibiotics for asymptomatic infections


BALTIMORE— Antibiotics can be harmful to the gut and increase the risk of creating antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. Despite the danger to ‘good’ bacteria in the body, a new study finds that around 70% of primary care physicians still believe in prescribing antibiotics for asymptomatic infections.

Since the early 2000s, the attitude towards antibiotics has changed. Several medical organizations advise against prescribing antibiotics to people who test positive for a urinary tract infection (UTI) but have no symptoms such as burning or frequent urination. Medical advice indicates that antibiotics are not helpful for asymptomatic infections and could cause more harm than good.

These side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, and yeast infections. In rare cases, antibiotic resistant strains such as It’s hard have the ability to grow in the colon and can lead to death. Other cases involve life-threatening or difficult-to-treat bacterial infections.

“Our study suggests that primary care clinicians are not following widely accepted recommendations against prescribing antibiotics for asymptomatic bacteriuria,” says Jonathan Baghdadi, MD, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology and public health at the School of Medicine from the University of Maryland and lead author of the study. to study in a university outing. “Some primary care clinicians may not be aware of these recommendations, but an inappropriate prescribing culture is also likely a contributing factor.”

Some doctors are more likely to issue prescriptions

The study looked at survey responses from 551 primary care physicians in Texas, Mid-Atlantic and Pacific Northwest. The survey presented doctors with a scenario where a patient came in for a bacterial infection but had no symptoms of a UTI. They then had to provide their best treatment approach.

The results show that 71% of physicians would give antibiotics to the hypothetical patient, even if the treatment went against recommended medical guidelines. The researchers also found that family physicians were more likely to over-prescribe antibiotics than physicians of other specialties. Additionally, physicians in residence or who lived in the Pacific Northwest were less likely to give antibiotics for asymptomatic infections.

“We found that other factors also played a role in prescribing, such as whether a physician had a stronger preference for overtreating a disease and fear of missing a diagnosis; this person was more likely to favor antibiotic prescribing compared to a physician who felt more comfortable with uncertainty in the practice of medicine,” says study leader Daniel Morgan, MD, MS. , professor of epidemiology and public health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The study authors suggest changing education standards for specialties that would likely prescribe too many antibiotics and reshaping the idea that antibiotics are “potentially harmful” rather than “useless.”

The study is published in Open JAMA Network.


About Author

Comments are closed.