WTAP @ 5 To Your Health Report: Unnecessary Prescriptions

By: Ninette Sosa
By: Ninette Sosa

Antibiotics are a class of drugs that help us get better when we're sick, but they don't work against everything, every time.

Guidelines do not recommend antibiotics for asthma attacks, but they are still sometimes prescribed.

Here's Ninette Sosa with today's Health Minute.

Children in the U.S. make more than 6 million trips to their doctor or emergency department each year for asthma, when swollen and inflamed airways make it difficult to breathe.

A new study in the Journal Pediatrics says nearly a million of those visits ends with an unnecessary prescription for antibiotics.

Guidelines for asthma management do not recommend these drugs for asthma flare-ups. But when researchers studied sixty million visits between 1998 and 2007, they found doctors recommended many of the children take antibiotics- even though their use was not justified.

Study authors note that the worse the symptoms, the more often this practice seems to occur.

They say that unless there is a co-existing bacterial infection, such as pneumonia or sinusitis, antibiotics should not be used. Overuse can cause drug-resistant bacterial infections. Authors stress communication between doctors and parents is key.

For today's Health Minute, I'm Ninette Sosa.

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