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New Survey Suggests Priobiotics Could be the Key to Encouraging More Patients to Complete a Course of Antibiotics
Date:11/18/2013

LONDON, November 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Better education is key to reduce 'frightening' levels of drug wastage.

A study of UK doctors carried out by the PCSG (Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology) to coincide with European Antibiotic Awareness Day (18 November 2013) suggests that patients who are given information about the impact of antibiotics on the gut and the option of probiotics before being prescribed antibiotics are far more likely to complete the full course.

Probiotics are increasingly recognised as giving a helping hand to the gut microbiota - the colonies of friendly bacteria that we all have inside us, and that can be disrupted by taking antibiotics.

Doctors quizzed in the survey say that at least half of patients who are told about the workings of gut microbiota and how probiotics may help are likely to complete a course of antibiotics, compared with just a third of patients who are not given this information by their GPs.

The survey also showed that, like their patients, doctors are also becoming more aware of the advantages of probiotics. A third now consider the possible impact of antibiotics on gut microbiota when writing prescriptions.

Around over six in every hundred people are prescribed at least one course of antibiotics every year. Yet as many as sixty per cent give up on them half way through, according to many of the doctors quizzed in the survey.

Just five out of a hundred doctors surveyed were optimistic that three quarters of their patients would finish their medicine. Perhaps more unnerving still, GPs thought 80 per cent compliance is the best it gets. No GP believed that more than this figure would keep on taking the medicine.

On a national scale, that could add up to as many as two million courses of antibiotics never being completed, leading to massive waste and the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

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SOURCE Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology
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