Primary Care & Community Medicine

Using antibiotics wisely

Since the discovery of penicillin in 1928, antibiotics have been considered a low-risk public health tool. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimates that more than 30 percent of antibiotics are inappropriately prescribed. Patients often ask for antibiotics when they will not be effective for their complaint. One result of this misuse is the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria. About 2 million people annually become infected with bacteria resistant to antibiotics. These infections can lead to increased hospital stays, life-threatening illnesses and death. Read more

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