New Findings in Use of Antibiotics

Article excerpt

AN ANTIBIOTIC commonly prescribed for infections including coughs and bronchitis is ineffective at relieving symptoms and may actually be harmful if overused, according to a new European study.

The study of 2061 adults, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, found patients prescribed amoxycillin did not recover more quickly or have significantly fewer symptoms than those patients who received no medication.

aUsing amoxycillin to treat respiratory infections in patients not suspected of having pneumonia is not likely to help and could be harmful,a said Professor Paul Little, from the University of Southampton in the UK, who led the research.

He added that overuse of antibiotics could lead to side effects such as diarrhoea, rashes and vomiting, in addition to the development of resistance.

Dr Trent Yarwood, infectious diseases physician at Queensland Health said the study showed that unless a patient had pneumonia, the risk of side effects outweighed the small benefit of treatment with the antibiotic. …