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the broken record: antibiotics are still being over-prescribed


Antibiotic Over-Prescription

Does it ever end?  I’m OVER 50 and have been watching the antibiotic over-prescription scenario play out for more than three decades.  It’s a multi-generational problem that despite hundreds of studies and a number of tax payer–funded PSAS, has barely budged.  Why does it matter? 

Only because every study on antibiotics as related to MICROBIOME and GUT HEALTH is scarier than the one that came out before it.  For example, you name me a disease or health issue — anything; I don’t really care what it is (even most that would be considered “GENETIC“) — and in ten minutes I can find studies (plural) linking it to the destruction of proper ratios of bacteria in your gut and on your skin (“DYSBIOSIS“).  And while it’s certainly true that there are a myriad of things that cause dysbiosis, far and away, the number one way is taking ANTIBIOTICS.

I realize that antibiotics can and do save lives.  However, the antibiotics prescribed in America in non-hospital settings have nothing whatsoever to do with saving lives.   The harsh reality is that every time you take antibiotics, you set yourself up for the next round of antibiotics. How so?  Because 80% of your immune system resides in your Gut in the form of bacteria.  Kill these bacteria and you end up not only with immune system dysfunction (yes, antibiotics are heavily linked to AUTOIMMUNITY), but you are more likely to wind up with an array of nasty health issues, including asthma, allergies, obesity and cancer (HERE).

Yet another study (this one from yesterday’s issue of JAMA Internal Medicine Comparison of Antibiotic Prescribing in Retail Clinics, Urgent Care Centers, Emergency Departments, and Traditional Ambulatory Care Settings in the United States) gave us still another taste of just how screwed up things really are in the arena of antibiotic prescription.

“Only 60% of outpatient antibiotic prescriptions dispensed in the United States are written in traditional ambulatory care settings (‘medical offices’) and emergency departments (EDs).  Antibiotic prescriptions were linked to 39% of 2.7 million urgent care center visits 36.4% of 58,206 retail clinic visits, 13.8% of 4.8 million ED visits, and 7.1% of 148.5 million medical office visits. Among visits for antibiotic-inappropriate respiratory diagnoses, antibiotic prescribing was highest in urgent care centers.”

How bad was the “inappropriate” antibiotic prescription issue in the urgent care setting? If you were given antibiotics, which as you can see above, 4 of 10 patients were, nearly 1 in 2 was by definition, unnecessary (the ED was 25%).  Again, this shows that despite decades of attempting to educate both physicians and the general public about this issue, the message continues to hit a brick wall.

“Previous work [LAST YEAR] demonstrated that in the 2010-2011 period at least 30% of antibiotic prescriptions written in physician offices and EDs were unnecessary. The finding of the present study that antibiotic prescribing for antibiotic-inappropriate respiratory diagnoses was highest in urgent care centers suggests that unnecessary antibiotic prescribing nationally in all outpatient settings may be higher than the estimated 30%.”

Look folks, it’s 2018, and if you’re taking antibiotics for non-life threatening issues (colds, FLU, upper respiratory infections which are virtually 100% viral, SINUS INFECTIONS, etc) — EVEN “RARELY” — stop it already!   And if you are living the HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE on top of taking said antibiotics, you are providing the fuel for both the infection and the subsequent dysbiosis that’s sure to follow (HERE).  Looking for a better way?  Want to get off the medical merry-go-round and start taking control of your life?  HERE IS THE POST for you.  And if you appreciate this sort of information, be sure to share it with those you love and care about most via FACEBOOK.


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