Navigation Links
Doctors should stop prescribing antibiotics for the common cold, review advises

Antibiotics should not be prescribed to patients with the common cold because there is scant evidence they stop other infections, and the benefits do not outweigh the risks, according to a new systematic review of current evidence.

"Antibiotics appear to have no benefit in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections," conclude Dr. Bruce Arroll and Dr. Timothy Kenealy of the University of Auckland, New Zealand. "The implications for practice are that prescription of antibiotics should not be given in the first instance as they will not improve the symptoms and adult patients will get adverse effects."

In addition to the side effects, mainly diarrhea, "overuse can increase levels of antibiotic resistance in the community," the review advises.

Colds are caused by viruses and not bacteria, upon which antibiotics act, yet, says Arroll, "There is evidence of high usage of antibiotics for the common cold in spite of doubts about the efficacy of such therapy." The review appears in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic. Arroll reviewed 12 trials that included more than 1,900 patients with symptoms lasting for seven days or less or with colds that included runny noses with colored discharge for 10 days or less. The patients had been given either antibiotics or placebo. "People receiving antibiotics did no better in terms of lack of cure or persistence of symptoms than those on placebo," Arroll says.

The goal of the study, according to the authors, was to determine if antibiotics reduce general cold symptoms such as sneezing, inflammation of the nose and throat; if antibiotics have any effect on pus-like nasal discharge; and if antibiotics have significant side eff ects in people with colds.

Although there may be some benefit of using antibiotics to treat the runny nose with colored discharge (acute purulent rhinitis), "their routine use is not recommended," the review says.

Colds are the most common reason for new patient visits at general practioners' offices, the review reports, and although the antibiotics do not work for that purpose, it is the second most common reason doctors prescribe them, Arroll writes.

"Physicians prescribe antibiotics in these cases out of habit and/or because they do not agree with the evidence," says Dr. Arroll. "Antibiotics do work for a minority of patients with purulent rhinitis, one out of five, so they may generalize this experience to their wider patient group."

Dr. Norman H. Edelman, chief medical officer for the American Lung Association, says, "There is no simple answer as to why providers do this. Some physicians may want to prevent complications of bacterial infections, which do occur. Some may be yielding to pressure from patients." But he says "this practice is on the decline as the public becomes more sophisticated about health issues."

Dr. Arroll says that patients are not doing themselves any favors looking for a "quick fix" in pressuring their providers to prescribe antibiotics for colds. "Patients will get a quicker fix if they take decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)," he says.


'"/>

Source:Center for the Advancement of Health


Related biology news :

1. Doctors closer to using gene analysis to help trauma patients
2. New Discovery May Help Doctors Treat Infertility
3. Tsunami-damaged coral reefs should be left to recover naturally, say scientists
4. Newest HIV drugs should be used with FUZEON(R)
5. Discovery of an American salamander where it shouldnt be: Korea
6. Scientists discover stem cell origin of neck and shoulders
7. WCS says avian flu prevention should focus on farms, markets
8. Brains response to visual stimuli helps us to focus on what we should see, rather than all there is to see
9. Tsunami + 1 year: Reviving exhausted fisheries should trump replacing boats, gear, experts say
10. Minimal genome should be twice the size, study shows
11. How the US drug safety system should be changed
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/22/2016)... According to the new market research report "Biometric System Market ... Multi-Factor), Component (Hardware and Software), Function (Contact and Non-contact), Application, and Region ... to grow from USD 10.74 Billion in 2015 to reach USD 32.73 ... Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... Global Market Watch: Primarily supported by ... Banks and Academics) market is to witness a value of ... the highest Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.75% is ... analysis period 2014-2020. North America is ... Europe at 9.56% respectively. Report ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... report to their offering. ... The global ... from USD 6.21 Billion in 2016, growing at a CAGR of ... bioinformatics market is driven by the growing demand for nucleic acid ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... share findings demonstrating the value of DNA microarray comparative genomic hybridization (array ... San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Using molecular test results from tumors with ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... The Conference Forum has announced that the ... will take place on February 1-3, 2017 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York ... program provides a unique 360-degree approach, which addresses the most up-to-date information regarding business ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... biotechnology companies dedicated to collaboratively developing improved chemistry, manufacturing and control technologies ... portable online UHPLC, with robust, probe-based sampling. , Online liquid chromatography ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 2, 2016 The ... 2021, growing at a CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period ... hospitals and diagnostic laboratories segment accounted for the largest share of ... ... report on global immunohistochemistry (IHC) market spread across 225 pages, profiling ...
Breaking Biology Technology: