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medical guidelines for antibiotics:  are they being followed?


Antibiotic Guidelines

Gerd (Geralt) Altmann – Freiburg/Deutschland – Pixabay

“We saw enormous variability in the rate of antibiotic prescribing.  We estimate that even a modest reduction in unnecessary or inappropriate prescribing would have major benefits in terms of reducing the number of infections, super-infections, and cases of C. difficile.”  CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden from an exclusive video interview with Medpage Today on 3/4/2014.  To learn more about the “SUPER BUGS” or C. DIFF INFECTIONS that Frieden is talking about, just follow the links.
If you follow this blog with any sort of regularity, you are aware that I have written a lot of articles about ANTIBIOTICS.  In fact, I’m the crazy guy who has gone out on a limb to tell you repeatedly that I believe that next to our poor diets and sedentary lifestyles, Antibiotics are probably the single biggest destroyer of health in America.  Antibiotics wreak havoc by destroying the good bacteria in your Gut.  This is known to lead to a wide variety of AUTOIMMUNE and INFLAMMATORY conditions, as well as LEAKY GUT SYNDROME.  The bottom line is that you had better learn to take care of your GUT’S HEALTH.    Although PROBIOTICS can be a great way to help restore the Gut to health (key word here is “help“), in many cases they are simply not enough.  And now we have new warnings from the CDC (Center for Disease Control).

It was just a couple of days ago that we talked about MEDICAL GUIDELINES and the fact that they cannot be trusted.  About the time that I was writing that post, the CDC issued new warnings concerning Antibiotics.  According to our government, it seems that when it comes to Antibiotics, physician’s prescribing habits can vary wildly.  It seems that doctors in some hospitals are prescribing 300% more Antibiotics than doctors in other hospitals.  According to a Vital Signs study published in the online version of the latest issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, doctors could and should cut Antibiotic use by at least a third.  Things are getting better, but honestly; this is the same thing I have been hearing for two decades.  What does it really take to get through to the medical community on this issue?  It begs the question of exactly how many Antibiotics prescribed today are considered to be (using their words) “unnecessary or inappropriate“?

I won’t dwell on this topic because I have touched on it several times previously, but looking at the most current research available, we see that those Guidelines I spoke of earlier may as well not exist.  Sounds harsh, but here is a smattering of the statements that lead me to this conclusion.

“Our research shows that while only 10 percent of adults with sore throat have strep, the only common cause of sore throat requiring antibiotics, the national antibiotic prescribing rate for adults with sore throat has remained at 60 percent. For acute bronchitis, the right antibiotic prescribing rate should be near zero percent and the national antibiotic prescribing rate was 73 percent.”  Jeffrey A. Linder, MD and Michael L. Barnett, MD, MPH of the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  The study was published in the December, 2013 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Research shows that 50% of prescriptions for antibiotics are inappropriate (mainly when they are given for coughs and colds). This makes future treatment of bacterial infections more difficult. Many bacteria are now resistant to antibiotics that used to control them. When we turn to newer and more expensive antibiotics, bacteria develop resistance to them as well. In the battle between antibiotics and bacteria, the bacteria seem to be winning.”  From the Website of Sutter Health, California Pacific Medical Centers.

“For decades, there has been a significant effort to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing. Despite this work, new research finds only incremental improvement in antibiotic prescribing for adults with acute bronchitis and sore throat.”  From the October 3, 2013 issue of ScienceDaily (High Rates of Unnecessary Prescribing of Antibiotics Continue).

“Did you know that nearly 50 percent of antimicrobial use in hospitals is unnecessary or inappropriate?”  From the ‘Professional’ side (as opposed to the patient side) of the Infection Prevention & You website.

“From this group [those suffering with C-DIFF], 77 percent received at least one dose of unnecessary antibiotic, and 26 percent of patients received unnecessary antibiotics exclusively.  Common reasons noted for unnecessary antibiotic use included urinary tract infections and pneumonia (despite little-to-no evidence of either being present), inappropriate surgical prophylaxis, and asymptomatic bacteriuria.”  From the January 9, 2013 issue of SHEA (the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America) in an article called, Unnecessary Antimicrobial Use Increases Risk of Recurrent Infectious Diarrhea.

“The results show 1 in 6 U.S. children (15.6 percent) who went to visit their primary care physician or the emergency department for ASTHMA was prescribed antibiotics without justification. That equates to about 1 million children who received these drugs inappropriately.  This practice goes against U.S. and international guidelines that say antibiotics should be used in asthma patients only when they are also suffering from bacterial infections.”  From a May 23 story on LiveScience’s site.  The study they were referencing came from the journal Pediatrics.

“An estimated two-thirds of global antibiotic sales occur without any prescription, and studies in Indonesia, Pakistan and India show that over 70% of patients were prescribed antibiotics. The great majority – up to 90% – of injections are estimated to be unnecessary.”  From the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) article titled The World Medicines Situation.

“The inappropriate use of antibiotics among adult patients at U.S. emergency departments is not falling, despite increasing concerns about antibiotic resistance, a new study reveals.”   From U.S. News and World Report’s HealthDay column on January 24, 2014 called ERs Not Curbing Overuse of Antibiotics, Study Reveals.  The study they were talking about came from the UAB School of Medicine in Alabama, and was published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

The truth is, I could go on until you were sick.  But then again; if I did, someone would want to give you Antibiotics.  Seriously folks, this Antibiotic thing is for real.  In fact, there are GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES calling this a “global crisis” of the highest magnitude.  Forget the government.  They can’t protect you.  It’s up to you to protect yourself and your family.  The best place to start is by simply educating yourself about matters such as this and then making the appropriate changes.   


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