Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cough and cold care kits reduce antibiotic use

01.03.2004


A program in health clinics where physicians offer patients a cough and cold care kit containing over the counter medicines appears to significantly reduce unnecessary antibiotic use. Researchers from the Minnesota Antibiotic Resistance Collaborative (MARC) report their findings today at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.



"Providing cough and cold care kits does appear to be a useful tool to use with patients who have upper respiratory illness or acute bronchitis to decrease unnecessary antibiotic use," says Pamala Gahr of the Minnesota Department of Health, a researcher on the study.

The kits were initially produced by three local health plans that began distributing through their clinics during the 2000-2001 winter season. They consist of a colorful box filled with pain relievers, decongestant, cough syrup, lozenges, a packet of powdered chicken soup and a teabag. The following year 6 local health plans distributed approximately 31,000 kits.


"MARC was interested in a cost-benefit analysis," says Gahr. "The health plans were spending a lot of money on these kits and were wondering if they were having any effect."

Gahr and her colleagues compared the percentage of patients with upper respiratory illnesses or acute bronchitis who filled prescriptions for antibiotics after visiting clinics that distributed the kits with those that visited clinics that did not. Patients who visited clinics where the kits were distributed were significantly less likely to fill a prescription for antibiotics within 3 days of their visit.

"The inappropriate use of antibiotics to treat viral illnesses is thought to be a key factor in the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria," says Gahr. Upper respiratory illnesses and acute bronchitis are generally caused by viral infections and antibiotics, which only work on bacteria, are not proper treatment. Usually, the best course of action in these cases is to treat the symptoms with rest and over-the-counter medication.

"In addition to the study data, we have had a lot of anecdotal feedback from physicians that it was a great idea to have something to give patients when you know they don’t need antibiotics. Patients come into these clinics, make their co-payments and feel like they should be getting something from their doctor," says Gahr. "It validates the fact that yes, you feel crummy; yes you feel sick. You leave feeling satisfied."

While the finding may be statistically significant, Gahr warns that the study size was limited. Further study with a larger sample is warranted.

The Minnesota Antibiotic Resistance Collaborative is working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s "Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work" public education campaign to help reduce inappropriate antibiotic use.


The International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases is organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Society for Microbiology, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, the Association of Public Health Laboratories and the World Health Organization. More information on the meeting can be found online at www.iceid.org.

Jim Sliwa | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iceid.org
http://www.asmusa.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>