Doctors Unnecessarily Prescribing Powerful Antibiotics

A study from the University of Utah finds that about 60 percent of doctors are prescribing the most powerful antibiotics available. These broad-spectrum antibiotics are capable of killing many types of bacteria.

Yet researchers indicate that more than 25 percent of these antibiotic prescriptions aren’t needed because the patient’s infection is the result of a virus, not bacteria. In other words, they aren’t distinguishing between a patient’s illness being the result of a virus or bacteria.

The researchers found that illnesses for which doctors may be more likely to choose strong antibiotics include: 

  • respiratory problems;
  • skin infections; and
  • urinary tract infections.

The study mostly focused on emergency room and outpatient clinics rather than appointments made with a physician. And even though adults were the subject of this research, a similar pattern is seen in pediatric patients. How could a doctor inaccurately prescribe something? It seems that they feel patients need to leave their office with something, so they offer a prescription to satisfy the patient. However, this can cause more harm than good.

Dangers of Overusing Antibiotics 

One of the biggest problems with unnecessarily prescribing powerful antibiotics is that it can contribute to antibiotic resistance. Bacteria may adapt to develop a resistance to the antibiotics, making the medication less effective.

Although these types of cases aren’t likely to result in medical malpractice claims, there are circumstances in which medication mistakes would warrant doing so. If it’s believed that the wrong prescription medication was prescribed or an incorrect dosage was administered, it’s a good idea to talk with an attorney.

Proving injuries or illness are caused by a medication mistake isn’t always easy. To learn more about one’s rights to file a claim, contact a lawyer from Gacovino, Lake & Associates. We will look over the details of a case to determine if an injured person has the right to file a claim. If so, we can explain the types of damages that may be recoverable.

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