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New Haven patients: be aware of antibiotic over-prescriptions


Antibiotics are often prescribed by doctors for infections. However, New Haven, Connecticut, residents should be careful about prescriptions. As a new study has revealed, doctors are not only overprescribing the drugs, but they are also being used for conditions that antibiotics should not treat in the first place.

A sore throat and acute bronchitis are diseases commonly treated by antibiotics. Only 10 percent of people who suffer from a sore throat actually have a strep infection, a condition that requires antibiotic treatment. Still, doctors give antibiotics to 60 percent of the people who have a sore throat. Meanwhile, the drug is also widely prescribed to treat acute bronchitis, even though there is enough evidence to prove that not treating it is beneficial to people who have the infection.

In addition to the financial burden of paying for the antibiotics that a person does not need, it is the side effects and the long-term consequences that can be most damaging. Antibiotic side effects include vaginitis and diarrhea. The drug can also have serious interactions with other medications. It can cause health problems down the road as well. Antibiotic overuse can lead to antibiotic resistance in the future, which, in turn, can lead to a worsened medical condition.

As the saying goes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. New Haven doctors should be careful about the drugs they prescribe and mindful of new scientific findings. Failing to exercise caution in drug prescriptions can be considered negligence. At the same time, a New Haven resident who suffers from a worsened medical condition or sustains an injury due to medical negligence has the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Filing a malpractice lawsuit can help the person obtain compensation for the injuries they sustained due to the negligence or carelessness of the medical professional. It can also hold medical staff legally responsible and help a resident receive much-needed assistance for treatment.

Source: CNN, "Doctors still overprescribing antibiotics," Elizabeth Landau, Oct. 03, 2013

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