Antibiotic overuse may make patients resistant

May 19, 2010 2:33:48 PM PDT
A new study finds patients whose doctors overprescribe antibiotics may develop drug resistance that lasts up to a year.

That puts them and the population at risk when more serious treatment is needed.

Scientists reporting in the British Medical Journal say the more antibiotics are prescribed for coughs and flu-like illnesses or urine infections the more bacteria become resistant in a viscous cycle.

Researchers say antibiotics can be rendered useless if they are used so widely that bugs develop a way to outwit them. Researchers say the only way to stop this is to only prescribe them when absolutely necessary.


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