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“Antibiotic Overuse Increases”

Antibiotic overuse may be a much larger problem than the much sensationalized overuse of antidepressants and pain medications.  Many patients can be very persistent in their desire to acquire a prescription for an antibiotic, especially if it is for a child.  With increasing frequency, we hear about the escalating spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria, especially Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).  It kills about 19,000 Americans annually, which is more deaths than from AIDS. It is believed to be due to inappropriate use of antibiotics.  Reports show there’s one type of drug that seems to be everywhere: antibiotics. Perhaps it is too easy to get your hands on a prescription for azithromycin or penicillin.  A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), backs this up with alarming numbers: Four out of five Americans got a prescription for an antibiotic in 2010, which amounts to 258 million courses of the drugs (there are only about 309 million Americans in our population).

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