Can Antibiotic Overprescribing be Stopped? Patients and Providers Speak Out
The issue of antibiotic misuse and resistance is well-documented, but can the overprescribing of antibiotics really be stopped? Results from a recent survey of readers conducted by Medscape and WebMD are eye opening. When asked how often antibiotics are given when they are not absolutely sure that they are necessary, 42% of prescribers said they do this up to 24% of the time. In addition, about 1 in 4 patients (23%) said they have asked their physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant, for an antibiotic. Why? The top reason patients gave was that they believed antibiotics would cure the illness (85%). Many also said they wanted to “feel better quickly” (65%).
For the complete results summary of this insightful survey, view the Medscape slideshow.
To combat the issue of antibiotic resistance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a variety of resources to help providers and patients use antibiotics wisely.
Patient Education Materials
- Print materials
- Symptomatic “prescription” pad [PDF - 432 KB]
- Fact sheet on antibiotic use, including potential harms [PDF - 187 KB]
- Symptom relief webpage
- Webpages on Upper Respiratory Infections, including when to seek treatment
Resources for Healthcare Systems