Reducing Antibiotic Overuse

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Two simple behavioral interventions decreased the rate of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions for acute respiratory tract infections, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) co-authored by Northwestern Medicine investigator Stephen Persell, MD, MPH.

Acute respiratory tract infections like bronchitis and the common cold are usually caused by viruses – not bacteria – so antibiotics won’t treat them. Nonetheless, research suggests that about half of the millions of antibiotic prescriptions in the United States every year are written for infections they won’t improve.