New study shows dangers of overprescribed antibiotics

Mar 30, 2023, 5:00 PM | Updated: Apr 1, 2023, 5:15 pm

Shortages of antivirals and antibiotics compound the stress of this year's early and severe respira...

Shortages of antivirals and antibiotics compound the stress of this year's early and severe respiratory virus season. (CNN)


SALT LAKE CITY — Side effects from over-prescribed antibiotics are creating problems for certain patients.

A study conducted by Intermountain Health and Stanford University found that one out of every 300 people will experience a side effect after taking an antibiotic. And it can send them to the doctor or hospital. 

The study was published in the Journal of Internal Medicine. It reviewed more than 50 million patient encounters over a span of 15 years. A press release from Intermountain said the study zeroed in on upper respiratory infections where “antibiotics were known to be overprescribed 50% of the time.”

Their research also found that people often pressure doctors to prescribe antibiotics when they aren’t necessary. Doctors fear patients may lose trust in them. 

Dr. Harris Carmicheal, assistant professor in the Research Department at Intermountain Health led this study.

“We know that there are enough prescriptions in the U.S. to cover 85% of the population every year,” said Carmicheal.

Consequently, Carmichael said prescribing unnecessary antibiotics can come back to haunt people.

“How often does someone need to come back to see another doctor or get hospitalized or have even worse complications from antibiotics that were maybe never needed to start with?”

Carmichael said we need to work alongside doctors to make the best decision for our health. 

View the full study here

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New study shows dangers of overprescribed antibiotics