“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a report on antibiotic prescribing and use in the United States. The report, ‘Antibiotic Use in the United States 2017; Progress and Opportunities,’ addressed antibiotic prescribing and use in outpatient settings, nursing homes, and hospitals, and suggested several tools to help improve prescribing.”

“Antibiotic prescribing across the United States in outpatient settings like clinics, doctor’s offices, and emergency rooms has declined by 5% from 2011 to 2014. However, prescribing can still be improved depending on age group and geographic location. An estimated 30% of all antibiotics prescribed for outpatients are unnecessary, according to the CDC. Even when antibiotics are necessary, clinicians often prescribe drugs that may be less effective and carry more risk vs more targeted, first-line drugs recommended by national guidelines.”

Dr. Jain’s Commentary:

As kids return back to school from summer vacation, infections such as the common cold become very common. We are already seeing a number of patients in the clinic who are suffering from upper respiratory infections, most commonly caused by rhinovirus, with symptoms of congestion, runny nose, and cough. In many cases these infections can lead to bacterial infections, such as sinusitis, but most commonly the infections and the symptoms they bring, will resolve on their own.

Typically, if symptoms are not present for more than 10 days, it is unlikely that a bacterial infection is present. Other signs that a bacterial infection has set in would be persistent fever or fever that resolves and then returns.
Unfortunately, over-prescribing of antibiotics can lead to resistance and other problems such as side effects from the antibiotics, or even allergic reactions.

If you are suffering from a cold or upper respiratory infection, there are a number of things you can do to relieve or lessen your symptoms and help the infection resolve more quickly. These include things like nasal irrigations (aka sinus rinses), nasal sprays, and even antihistamines. It is also important to take all of your normal medications and be aware that the cold could flare things like asthma, allergies or even eczema. If you are suffering and are unsure if you may need more treatment such as antibiotics, contact our office to discuss further.

To read the full CDC report click here!