Study finds over-prescribed antibiotics causing harmful side effects

Mar 30, 2023, 8:12 PM | Updated: 8:24 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A new Intermountain Health study is revealing some troubling findings on over-prescribed antibiotics and their side effects.

Katija Stjepovic caught up with a researcher on why some antibiotic prescriptions are sending patients back to the doctor’s office.

Antibiotics are use to treat a wide range of illnesses, but that may be leading to overuse. A new study by Intermountain Health and Stanford University found that overprescribing and inappropriately prescribing antibiotics can cause negative effects and at times can send patients right back to the hospital.

“There a lot of people that come in especially for conditions with respiratory infections, that don’t need any antibiotics all,” Carmichael Harris,  Physician at Intermountain Health, Assistant Professor for Research in Clinical Investigations said. “But we know that providers feel, they overprescribe antibiotics even when they know they should not, because patients expect antibiotics. And we did see people come back and have severe adverse events and providers would feel terrible that it was an adverse event for a condition that they didn’t even think they should prescribe antibiotics for.”

The study examined 51 million patient visits over a 15-year period. It focused on patients experiencing upper respiratory infections. Eventually finding that antibiotics were overprescribed 50% of the time. Researchers also found that some of the most harmful antibiotics were pretty commonly used.

Experts want to remind people that antibiotics are not always the cure for your sickness. It’s important to know that there are options and to listen to your physician.

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Study finds over-prescribed antibiotics causing harmful side effects