Well­ness Arti­cles

Antibi­otics Still Being Over­pre­scribed for Chil­dren

The Novem­ber 9, 2005 issue of the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion, (JAMA) pub­lished a study that showed that antibi­otics are still being over­pre­scribed for chil­dren who do not need them, and in many cases when they do the wrong ones are being given.

The study showed that 53% of chil­dren with sore throats are being pre­scribed antibi­otics. In real­ity the study notes that only between 15 and 33% of chil­dren with sore throats actu­ally have strep throat. They note that a true strep throat is one caused by infec­tion from strep­to­cocci bacteria.

Salynn Boyles, of WebMD report­ing on the study in a Novem­ber 8, 2005 arti­cle noted that, “one in four pre­scrip­tions involved antibi­otics other than those rec­om­mended, poten­tially increas­ing the risk for treat­ment fail­ure and future drug resistance.”

The study did note that there was a slight drop in the usage of antibi­otics for chil­dren between 1995 and 2003, but the authors of the study attrib­uted this drop to a decrease in the antibi­otic agents rec­om­mended for usage in strep throat. Chief study author, Jef­frey A. Lin­der, MD, MPH, of Brigham and Women’s Hos­pi­tal and Har­vard Med­ical School, noted, “The over­all trend is down, but clearly there are still too many antibi­otics being prescribed.”

The researchers found that a test used to con­firm the pres­ence of a real strep throat was used only about half the time. Even when this test was used, the study showed that the test results had lit­tle effect on whether or not antibi­otics were pre­scribed any­way. Dr. Lin­der warned, “All kids should be given a strep test before they are treated with antibiotics.”

Accord­ing to Lin­der the bot­tom line is that most kids with sore throats prob­a­bly shouldn’t be tak­ing antibi­otics, and a strep test should always be given before antibi­otics are prescribed.

Ran­dom Article

The above head­line comes from a Health​mall​.com report of a release from the July 21st 2000 Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Chi­ro­prac­tic Association.

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