Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Antibiotics unnecessarily prescribed for acute bronchitis

16.11.2006
New England Journal of Medicine article describes critical review of literature

Antibiotics are routinely prescribed unnecessarily for acute bronchitis, according to Virginia Commonwealth University findings published in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Physicians for years have prescribed antibiotics for the treatment of acute bronchitis, a common condition caused by inflammation of the bronchi of the lungs that occurs in 5 percent of adults each year.

The VCU School of Medicine researchers concluded there is no evidence in current literature to support prescribing antibiotics for the treatment of short-term bronchitis as almost all the causes of such infections are viral and therefore don't respond to the therapy, according to the article.

Richard P. Wenzel, M.D., professor and chair in the Department of Internal Medicine at the VCU School of Medicine, and Alpha A. Fowler III, M.D., chair in the Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine, conducted a critical review of the world literature. They examined research studies and clinical trials regarding acute bronchitis as they related to individuals, pathology, diagnosis, treatment strategies and any data supporting the potential benefits of anti-bacterial agents.

According to Wenzel, almost all the known causes of acute bronchitis are viral and are caused by organisms that have no known therapy and cannot be influenced by antibiotic treatment. Only a small percentage of acute bronchitis cases are caused by bacteria that physicians can treat, such as whooping cough. He said that approximately 70 percent to 80 percent of individuals are prescribed antibiotics for treatment lasting five to 10 days.

"As a community of medicine we have a habit of prescribing a lot of medication. There are many things we prescribe that are not based on evidence in the literature," Wenzel said. "Based on our review of the data in the literature, we are not practicing evidence-based medicine when it comes to the treatment of acute bronchitis."

In addition to little evidence supporting the effectiveness of antibiotics for the treatment of acute bronchitis, antibiotics can be expensive and may cause adverse side effects such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and rash that may require further treatment. Furthermore, induced resistance to antibiotics makes them less useful for treatment against other infections.

"There is a long history of patients receiving antibiotics for acute bronchitis and they have come to expect receiving a prescription for treatment. Physicians can help patients by not prescribing them antibiotics for acute bronchitis – saving them from potential side effects and unnecessary costs," Wenzel said.

"Physicians should inform their patients that there are no data in the literature to support the use of antibiotics for this condition," he said.

Wenzel and Fowler also examined the literature to determine what other medications patients are frequently prescribed. They found that although prescription cough medications are prescribed in almost 100 percent of acute bronchitis cases, the literature showed little evidence of any effect.

Sathya Achia-Abraham | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vcu.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>