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 New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

nachricht Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another
12.12.2018 | Technische Universität München

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: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Live from the ocean research vessel Atlantis

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researcher deciphers flows that help bacteria feed and organize biofilms

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>