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:6/2/2016)...   The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: ... capability in which consumers will be able to interact with ... via voice or text and receive relevant information about the ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that can create ... relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC , a ... the opening of an IoT Center of Excellence in ... expand the development of embedded iris biometric applications. ... of convenience and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making ... aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , ... the first quarter of 2015 The gross margin was ... 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings ... flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Global demand for enzymes ... through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This market includes ... cleaning products, biofuel production, animal feed, and other ... and biocatalysts). Food and beverages will remain the ... increasing consumption of products containing enzymes in developing ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. The company's primary focus ... distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary to help companies efficiently ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: